This website isn't for emergencies. If you're having a mental health crisis, please call or text the crisis hotline at 988.

Not for emergencies. Call/text 988 for mental health crisis.

midland wellbeing coalition logo

Wellbeing Life Hacks

Life Hack #80: Ban Always and Never

Have you ever considered the power of language in relationships? How often do you hear or say “always” and “never” in conversations with people you care about? Studies show that communicating in absolutes can be harmful in our relationships. Most of the time these words are exaggerations. Extreme words like “Always” and “Never” can hurt others. When talking to relationship partners, for example, using these extreme terms can put the other person on the defensive and downplays their contributions. “You ALWAYS leave the lights in the house on” can hurt someone if they only forget once in a while. So what can we do to let go of this exaggerated language? Be aware. Catch yourself using this language and consider alternatives, like reminding yourself that there’s useful space and words between always and never. Consider percentages. The bad part is usually only a part of a larger whole – and sometimes a very small part. Practice positive thinking. Since we have a natural negativity bias, work to flip to notice the positive side first! And finally, remember exceptions. Even if a behavior is only sometimes happening (or not happening), remembering those exceptions can go a long way towards improving your communication and relationships. Also, keep in mind that banning always and never can be very helpful for our internal self-talk!

Additional Resources

If you would like access to a folder full of materials for each Wellbeing Life Hack (one email a week), register below.  Check out the Learning Loop folder to see what you will get!

Why sign up for the folders?

“I love all of the different formats/ways to use the information! It makes it so easy for us to include naturally in whichever way is most accessible to our own lives. I can’t wait to share a weekly life hack with my new teammates/colleagues!”

Like This Life Hack? Share It!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Pinterest