The words we express are a direct reflection of the thoughts that are being said in our minds. One way we can begin to change our inner negative thoughts (or, negative self-talk) is by monitoring and changing what we say out loud.
“I’m so stupid.”
“I can never do anything right.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“You are always yelling at me.”
“This is the worst day ever.”
These are examples of things we might say even though we mean something different. This pattern of behavior can become negatively impactful on one’s thoughts and mood because of the emphasis on extremes. When we say words like “never”, “always”, “nobody”, “worst”, etc. we begin to normalize the extreme and therefore lose sight of the “middle of the road.”
Let’s rework these statements to reflect what is really meant.
“I’m so stupid.” –> “I can’t believe I made this mistake.”
“I can never do anything right.” –> “I get frustrated when I make mistakes.”
“Nobody likes me.” –> “It feels like I have no one to talk to right now.”
“You are always yelling at me.” –> “It hurts my feelings when you raise your voice to me during our arguments.”
“This is the worst day ever.” –> “This has been a very difficult day for me.”
So your challenge is to get rid or your extreme language. Be mindful of the words you are using and try to say exactly what you mean. Use this Extreme Language Worksheet to record the extreme language you find yourself using. After recording the negative statement, be sure to write down next to it what you actually mean.