Article Details

Words that make Bad Emotions Worse!

What you will get: Words that make bad emotions even worse!


“Just relax. It will be fine.”


Words that might make you want to punch someone in the face!
(don’t do it as it’s not in the top 10 list of “most emotionally intelligent things to do today!”)


You see…


Telling someone to calm down when they feel stressed or anxious in some way just doesn’t work!


Think about it…


If the anxious person already knew how to relax don’t you think they would have done it already!


Have you ever told anyone to relax and they replied, “Well actually I know how to do that and can do it any time I choose, it’s just that I quite enjoy feeling anxious!”




And here’s another of my favourite useless phrases…


“I know how you feel.”


No you don’t!


Only I know how I feel and you telling me you know that just made me feel a whole lot worse thank you very much!


What about another useless phrase?


“You made me feel…(insert appropriate emotion here)”


No you didn’t.


Nobody can make you feel anything. You have chosen to feel the way you do!


Here’s the problem…


Language and words are constructs of your rational brain (the Rider)


Emotions are chemical changes triggered by your subconscious mind (the Elephant) and experienced in your body.


So trying to use logical words to tell someone how they feel or how they should feel is like trying to explain Pythagorean Theorem to a 3 year old Chinese Baby in Russian.


It just won’t work!


(If you have met a child it works for please let me know, he/she is worth a fortune!)


So what can you do when someone is feeling bad?


Well my 4 step LEAD model will help…


Listen to them carefully.
Empathise with them and try to understand how they are feeling.
Ask them how they feel?
Don’t ever assume you know how they feel.


And remember, all feelings are there for a reason. So feelings can’t be judged.


Which leads me to my all time favourite in the list of “things to say to guarantee to make someone feel worse.”


“You shouldn’t be feeling this!”


Excuse me, but NEVER try to tell me how I should be feeling!


I’m off to LEAD my way into a better understanding of the way someone else is feeling.


How about you?


To your success







Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High-Performance Leadership

LPS Results Stories