Trade: “They said…” with, “They think….”
Summary: People say a lot of things and they can define us or our realties if we let them. We need to remind ourselves that what people say is what they think (unless they are speaking proven facts) and that we have the ability to reject their statements.
When someone says something, if we are going to repeat it (back to them, or to someone else, or in our own minds in reflection) add the words “they think. This is an important differentiator that will remind us that we have the power to assess and reject other people’s thoughts —which, unless fact, are merely suggestions.
In business we are told to take “I think” out of our emails to sound more confident. In life we need to remember to add “I think” into other people’s statements to remind ourselves that their thoughts are just that – their thoughts (unless proven fact). This will help us to stay focused and to not let negative energy or thoughts into our lives.
Example: Carol says to Luke (in an angry tone): “You think you are better than everyone else!”
Luke: “I think I am better than everyone else?”
Synopsis: This is a “they said” response. Even though in question form, Luke is repeating what Carol said back to her which can be interpreted as a declaratory statement (an agreement). Carol now has the power position and opportunity to respond with the simple answer, “yes” . By doing so, Carol is reinforcing her narrative while reinforcing her suggestion that Luke thinks he is better than others. At this point in the conversation Luke may be wondering why he is thinks he is better than other people.
Luke: “You think I think I am better than everyone else?”
Synopsis: This is a “they said they think” response. With this response Luke is brining to light that what Carol said is what she thinks. He is not giving her the opportunity to reinforce her narrative. The focus is now on Carol’s thoughts instead of Luke’s character. This will give Carol the opportunity to expand on her theory and Luke the opportunity to decide if he believes her narrative. At this point in the conversation Luke may be wondering why he continues to speak to Carol if she thinks so poorly of him.
Featured image photo by Wynand van Poortvliet