Criticize and Attack
Words are the weapons you use to get a point across. You deliver your message with daggers by pointing out someone’s faults and mistakes, stating your displeasure and disapproval, going over the details of what someone did or didn’t do, using threats or profanity, and highlighting the things that are wrong are all behaviors that launch conversation into a hostile, threatening exchange. Your words are critical, perhaps demeaning, heated, and disrespectful.
Demand, Impose, and Guilt
Being asked to do something is very different than being told to do it. Demands introduce obligation, necessity, and responsibility to others. The use of guilt and shame add heavy energy to a conversation. Words such as should, have to, and ought to are suggestive of onus and requirement. Making a demand on someone, trying to make them responsible for something, or imposing your will, suggestions, or opinions on someone else is a form of control and manipulation. You try to get someone to do or not do something and use these tactics to get your way.
Hinting, Passivity, and Suggesting
Your words are vague, allusive, and unclear. You are indirect, use hints, or make suggestions to get what you want or need. Your point is easily missed and you may be over-ridden in conversation. Your passive approach allows others to dominate, decide, and have their way. You avoid conflict, assertion, and difficult conversations by using these imprecise ways to deliver your message.
Always and Never
You’re trying to make a point, your frustration level is high, or something is really important to you so you use words such as always and never to emphasize the extremes of what you’re experiencing. These are terms that push your point to an exaggerated level and also dilute your message because they are rarely accurate or factual. They promote absolutes and fuel rigid thinking of all or none.
Judgment, Labels, and Scrutiny
You see people through a predetermined lens based on perception, past experiences, or belief systems. You overgeneralize people, places, or situations. You have preconceived notions and that perspective provides a theory about someone and their behavior. You are critical in your observations and have a discriminating nature in relating to someone. There may be history or specific occurrences that fuel these views and you react from this perspective.
Personalize and Assume
You get your feelings hurt easily and take things personally. You fill in the blanks and create a story in your mind about what’s happening. You make assumptions about people or situations and predetermine what someone did, meant, or intended without clarifying or checking your perception. You take ownership for things that aren’t yours. You make other people’s feelings, behaviors, or moods personal and think it’s your fault or responsibility.
Jump to Conclusions
You are reactive and develop contempt prior to investigation. Though things can have lots of different meanings, you assign a specific importance. You make up your mind before you have all of the details and facts. You lock in on a certain version of the circumstances, draw conclusions, and believe you know fully what’s happening or what someone intended. You mind-read and fortune-tell without sufficient information.
Someone does something and you assign it meaning without knowing for sure why they did what they did. You’re certain you know the reasons someone did or didn’t do something. You surmise that someone was trying to hurt, manipulate, trick, or deceive you. You tend to find fault or place blame with others and their reasons or intentions. You believe people cause you to feel or act certain ways and you assign specific intent to what they are doing. You have a critical view of others and believe they are working against you.
Complain and Criticize
Like Eeyore weighing in on the day’s events, you focus on the things that are hard, have gone wrong, or frustrate or disappoint you. You are irritated and annoyed easily. It’s easy for you to find fault in people and situations and that becomes the point of your conversation and interactions. You have a critical view of people, places, and things and vocalize that to others. Though you may see it as venting, you aren’t always aware of how this impacts others.
Sarcasm and Humor
You poke and make fun of people, even when you care deeply about them. You make jest and use humor to relate and discuss things. In your eyes, there’s nothing wrong with delivering a message with a dose of sarcasm, after all, you’re just kidding. If things get too serious or uncomfortable, you try to lighten the mood be being funny, making a joke, or clowning around. You think people are too serious or sensitive and should be able to take a joke.