I am continuing my take on each one of Pavelka’s Toolbox. Today’s post is about the magic words. Yup, old fashion but still powerful and healing.
I don’t know
Please and Thank you go along way to smooth many situations. However, I learned that extreme pleading and over the top Thank yous can some times backfire and be less effective. Not asking for what I need is also ineffective. I’m sorry is useful for when I have something to apologize for, less helpful when I am apologizing for existing. I’m sorry for being rude, misunderstanding, hurting feelings and other wrong doings on my part is the beginning of repairing damage. Apologizing for taking up space, asking for what I need, or general apologizing when I’ve done nothing wrong are symptoms of extreme people pleasing and disrespectful to myself. My adult children helped me to realize how often I apologized for existing. I am more aware now and learning to use I’m sorry appropriately. The power of I don’t know is amazing. I was hired because I was willing to say, “I don’t know.” I also followed up with, “I will find out.” I worked as a computer tech for 15 years. Computers are weird, many techs will not admit to no knowing something about them. I accepted that I didn’t know but I investigated, experimented and asked questions until I did know. Sometimes the answer was “no one knew.” I would add a few terms for example, “after you,” “how can I help you?” and “I am happy to see you.” What are some phrases you would add to a mental health toolbox?
Magical words work.