Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


As It Turns Out

Whenever someone is telling me about my health, or the results of a repair, or if I’m eligible for something, etc., they often have a tendency to begin with “Unfortunately.” When I hear that I know something bad is coming. It puts me on my guard and I await negative news, as I’m sure it does to most people. That’s why it’s better to begin with a more neutral phrase, so people are more open-minded when they listen. Using “As it turns out” can do that.

Apple employees are taught to say, “As it turns out” instead of unfortunately. You might bring your iPhone in because it’s not working properly. You want it fixed. And fast. Which sentence would put you more at ease when the tech tells you the news?

•    “Unfortunately it needs a part that we don’t have in stock and we have to wait for the factory to send it, which might take weeks.”
•    “As it turns out it needs a part that we don’t have in stock and we have to wait for the factory to send it, which might take weeks.”

It’s the same message but people will respond with less panic and upset when the second one if used. Using unfortunately tells the person that they should prepare to be unhappy. “As it turns out” sounds more hopeful, less dramatic and doesn’t make you expect to hear the worst news so you might not feel as bad about your computer having to wait a while for the part.

Using less negative words is a good way to give someone not so good news (sounds better than bad) about almost anything. And I found that people are not only more receptive, but they like you more when you give them the news that way. They don’t like bearers of gloom and doom. “Unfortunately” can make you sound like one. “As it turns out” sounds much less ominous.

Try to find your own more neutral words about something negatives. You can turn almost anything around if you try. Plus, it actually feels better to say something in a less negative way.
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