The Three Weakest Phrases

Here are the three things people say that make them seem weak and wimpy:

I THINK — A lot of people use this phrase when they want to correct someone without offending them — as in “I think the meeting is on Wednesday.” If you only THINK the meeting is on Wednesday, why should anyone believe you? After all, you’re not positive the meeting is on Wednesday. So although it’s hard to correct someone, you need to be direct. Using wishy-washy language will make it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

YOU KNOW — For example, you might say to your spouse, “We’ve been eating a lot of take-out lately, so we need to put ourselves on a budget to save money, you know?” Ending your statement with a question sends the message that you’re seeking approval, but you don’t need anyone’s approval to state how you feel or think. If you do that, people won’t take you seriously.

I’M SORRY — You should apologize if you knock over a little old lady while fighting for the last shopping cart. You should NOT apologize if you ask that little old lady for the time. The more you apologize, the less sincere it’ll seem when you’ve actually messed up and need to apologize. So replace your “I’m sorrys” with “Excuse me” or “I have a request.”