Tony and Suzanne Marriott's Phoenix Arizona Real Estate Blog


Is Your Vocabulary "Positive" Or "Negative"? What Does That "Say"?

The words one chooses to use in both verbal and written communication says a lot about the communicator's view of the world.


When I encounter words like:


hate, villain, trick, fear, threatened, argue, defy, pejorative, contradiction, unwilling, purge, disruption,  anger, obsessed, scares, confusion, messiness


- whether here in the 'Rain...or elsewhere in life, I conclude that the "communicator" is for the most part, "negative", unhappy with their lot in life, and wants to spread the "gloom and doom" to others, although the rationale for such behavior escapes me...perhaps they are just having a bad day, week, etc...


But even in the "worst" of times, is it really so difficult to change one's vocabulary to be "positive"? It can only help "improve" things...


For example, instead of using the words in red (above), using words such as:


love, hero, real, assurance, safe, agree, reconcile, positive, sensible, inclined, preserve, satisfaction, calm, indifferent, reassures, clarity, organize


Often the same "point" can be made by presenting it with "positive" language - and often the audience is more receptive to the message - as most rational listeners tend to "tune out" the "negative" rants...


I don't appear to be alone in this perspective - although I'm always open to candid and productive discussion with others who may have a differing point of view.


I took a few minutes this morning to find a few articles on the Internet that appear to be far more "articulate" on the topic than I can be, but that won't send you over to the Dictionary to see what the author means by "$40 words" as my friend Marte Cliff refers to those complex, obscure words that leaves many readers scratching their heads!


In no particular order, here are the links to the full articles, as well as a quote from each for "good measure":


Donna Labermeier - Huffington Post: Why Criticizing Others Is a Lot More Harmful Than You Think

"When you make derogatory statements about others, the centered people in the room know exactly who you’re really talking about... yourself!"


Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT -  Attacking, Blaming, and Criticizing: How To Respond To Other Peoples’ Bad Behavior

"Understand where bad behavior comes from. Attacking another person, pointing blame, and criticizing another harshly all come from the same place: the attacker’s attempt to dislodge some of their own bad feelings onto you."

Nanice Ellis -  Overcoming Negative Thinking – The #1 Cause of Chronic Depression

"Judgment of anything is negative thinking because you are focusing on what you do not like or desire.  If you call yourself a “realist,” you are someone who rationalizes negative thinking in order to give yourself permission to think negatively."


I know that some members encounter this behavior from time to time, and have observed a few of those who chose to communicate with a consistently "negative" vocabulary either being "dis-barr-ed" from the 'Rain - while others who "came close" seem to have "heard the message" from other 'Rainers and headed in a more "positive" direction.


There are many "rational" responses to that "negative" vocabulary - whether it be ignore it, challenge it, or "fill in the blanks".


For the most part I ignore it.



Some times I'll challenge it.


If it's a "personal attack" in general, Bob Stewart will intervene if it violates Active Rain Community Guidelines, if it is brought to his attention.


If something is "unclear", the best course of action is to ask a question using "positive" vocabulary.


If instead, "assumptions" are made, inaccurate "conclusions" are drawn, "accusations" are made, all using a "negative" vocabulary, then it's hardly surprising that readers will conclude that the "author" has "opportunities for improvement" in their communication skills.



Some times it's best to save a rant blog post in Draft Mode until some time has passed, consider the reasons that prompted it, and perhaps reach out and ask a question - rather than pushing the "Publish" button without due consideration.  It could "Bite You In The B*tt" !!


So, is your vocabulary "positive" or "negative"?


Do you "attack" and "defend" - or do you "integrate" (play well with others) with society in general, and Active Rain in particular?



Thoughts and Counter Points always welcome!






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About the Authors - Updated 2018

If you are considering a Traditional or Short Sale of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any location in Maricopa County Arizona, you owe it to yourself to talk with Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty to determine whether Tony and Suzanne Marriott are the best real estate Brokers in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the Successful Sale of your home.

Tony and Suzanne have personally Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest list to close rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!

Tony Marriott - Chief Executive Officer - Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Suzanne Marriott - Chief Learning Officer - Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Associate Brokers, REALTORS
Haven Express
Keller Williams Arizona Realty


As one of the finest instructors I've ever known taught me: Always try to use positive words. Take the words no, not and never out of your vocabulary and replace them with Can, Always and DO!

Thanks for sharing Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) about 4 years ago

It's a "Best Practice" Jennifer Mackay - thanks for stopping by with a comment.

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty (Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area) about 4 years ago

Each step is taken with a positive foot forward. There are some folks that just are bullies and refuse to be nice. Sometimes those are other real estate agents. The challenge for me is ... I generally prefer to just walk away. Not an option when the person is on the other side of the transaction. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 4 years ago

I hear you Kathleen Daniels - sometimes this helps...

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty (Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area) about 4 years ago

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