Positive Thinking: 4 Words to Swap for Better Phrases

For better or for worse, words are a powerful force, and how we use them can greatly affect others. Certain words and phrases have negative connotations, so why not make a conscious effort to swap some of our everyday lingo for vocab that exudes a little more positivity?

Swap jealous for happy

curly hair, park, happy

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It’s such a common reaction. A friend tells you about an upcoming vacation or an awesome deal he scored on a new car, and an immediate reaction is “I’m so jealous.” With this, you’re automatically giving off a negative reaction to something good that’s happened in someone else’s life. Additionally, you’ve made this about yourself and your own feelings, rather than focusing on your friend’s good fortune. Instead, try replacing this nasty sentiment with, “I’m so happy for you!” You’ll be expressing your positive feelings for your friend, as opposed to sounding envious and bitter for your lack thereof.

Swap forgive for accept

Two Men Stopping For Rest On Walk, friends

Source: iStock

This one will come in handy on a more conditional, case-by-case basis. Think of the last time someone apologized to you. Did you actually forgive them? If so, then great. But have you ever told someone you’ve forgiven them, or better yet, not said anything after a BS apology because you are, in fact, still not over the situation and have not forgiven that person? Instead of telling a person you forgive them when you do not, or just continuing to harbor ill feelings about a person who will never offer an apology, try telling the person, or even yourself, that you accept their apology. This will not fool anyone into thinking you’ve truly forgiven them, and it will help you in realizing that you’re not able to change what has happened in the past. Accepting this reality will help in your moving forward and accepting the fact that you could not have done anything differently.

Swap should for could

Saying that you should have done something instills the notion that you regret something you cannot change. Saying that you should do something implies that you have to do something that you don’t necessarily want to, or that you have been putting off. On the flip side, switching out should for could could help improve the way in which others hear what you’re implying, as well as improving your own psyche and how you choose to perceive something.

Swap shut-up for excuse me

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I realized this is a no-brainer, but often times, it’s a phrase that comes out without even thinking. Think about a time you said “shut up” during a disagreement, when you were annoyed with someone, or simply because you kept getting interrupted. No matter how innocent your tone might be, it’s not nice and will never come across as such. Try reeling in that instinct to snap sharply and instead use “excuse me.” During an argument, it tells a person that you’re not understanding the point they are trying to make; when you’re annoyed with someone, it will let them know you disagree with them; or when you keep getting interrupted, it will let them know that you’d like to speak and you’re not a fan of their continued interruption.

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