The Power of Positive Language

3 Jun


While perusing Grammar Girl’s website I came across an article by the Public Speaker, Lisa Marshall, titled Why Should You Use Positive Language? The article really got me thinking about the language I use on a daily basis.

imageThe Public Speaker reflects on a conversation that she had with her child while allowing the child to pick out a movie. It is an all too familiar conversation for most parents. Like most children, the child wanted to pick out a Barbie movie that the family has seen before. If her child is anything like my child it means that they have seen the movie closer to 10 times or more.

Instead of answering with an enthusiastic “yes,” the Public Speaker answered with the all too familiar, “*sigh* Okay.” I have done this many times myself. I’ll take my little one to buy a new toy at Wal-Mart and I can always guess that we will be leaving with a bag of those little green army men.

Before reading the article I had never thought about the exact message I was communicating to my child when saying something like, “sure”, “okay” and “whatever.” Those words do not communicate the message of “yes,” instead they show apprehensive and give an unclear message.

In the future I plan on taking the Public Speakers advice for communicating in a more positive, enthusiastic manner. Instead of answering my child or anyone else with an “okay” I will opt for the more positive “yes, absolutely!”

One Response to “The Power of Positive Language”

  1. rarunner86 June 16, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    What a great idea! I had no idea Gramma Girl covered other topics besides just grammar. Positive words are definitely needed in a lot of people’s vocabulary! I know in this day in age when everybody communicates in black and white with text messages and e-mail it’s hard to convey tone. So when speaking face to face or ear to ear we need to reinforce positive messages! I never thought about the way we agree with people with a *sigh ok* would have such a confusing effect on children. I will definitely remember this when I have my own children and have to communicate with them; even if it means I’ll end up with bags and bags of little green army men. 🙂

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