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Never use these words, EVER!!

Have you heard of NLP? NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming a model started back in the 1970’s  of understanding how people organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour to produce the results they do.

I have a couple of really good friends both of whom are ‘Jedi Knight’ level NLP practitioners. And I am endlessly fascinated by some of the tools and techniques they talk about.

One of my favourite NLP areas is the words that people use… after all in is neuro LINGUISTICS we’re talking about. So it got me thinking as to how people express themselves – and what they use to describe their ‘world’.

Some of the words we use seem to create restrictions and are often used unconsciously by people who own such restrictions… To become free of a restriction it would help by reducing or eradicating the use of the word.

Now, ALL of the following words belong – and have their use – in the English language. All I am suggesting here is that we use them in a more powerful or liberating way and less in the restrictive context.

Let’s look at a few.



As in the title of this article. The word ‘Never’ is an absolute, and excessive use of absolutes can be restrictive to self and others. Another absolute is the word ‘Always’.

“I’ll never get this right!” or “You always think the worst!”

It’s pretty obvious that use of absolutes gives no room for manoeuvre. Instead we could say:

I’m working towards improving on this!” or “Your approach to this is unhelpful!”



The word ‘Try’ is a weak / passive word in many contexts. It can come across as submissive and lacks any real purpose or intention. No energy!

“I’ll try to get this finished by Friday…” or “Can we all try to be on time at our next meeting?”

You can almost HEAR the built-in excuses. Instead we could say:

“I fully intend to finish this by Friday!” or “Let’s all commit to getting to the next meeting five minutes early!”



When used in an exchange of views the word ‘But’ has a dismissive element to it. The word basically discounts everything that has been said to that point…

“Jim, I understand you have concerns but I have my own.” Or: The scenery is generally very well painted but it’s not right yet”

The first part of each sentence is rendered irrelevant or unimportant. How about saying:

“Jim I understand you have concerns AND I would like to add some of my own.” Or “The scenery is generally very well painted AND with one or two improvements it will be spot on!”

Notice how the word AND (in place of the word BUT) also modifies the language used in the rest of the sentence.

These are MY pet hates – do Yoo have any? Watch for the impact of your language style.

Yoo Wisdom: I used to come home from work all hunched over and slitty eyed… “ I’m knackered!” I would mutter to an increasingly unwelcoming wife.

These days I scoot in – flop onto the sofa and say: “Boy! Am I ready to relax!!” It makes such a difference to my mood and the mood of the household!

Be your best Yoo


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