Rephrase when necessary

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

It’s a phrase we hear time and time again. You could say it is overly-familiar. You might call it a cliché. However, it’s well-used for one very, very good reason – it’s true.

Non-verbal language is language and so your appearance, your tone and your manner all matter. It is why we often talk about first impressions. 

Equally important is the ability to rephrase a sentence so that it is less stinging. This is especially important in our current climate. For example as we continue to talk about race and how we need to be more aware of what we say let’s consider rephrasing this sentence: 

“It’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop.” 

A better way would be to say: 

“It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop.” 

See the difference?  Let’s be more aware of what we say and how we say it. 

Stop, think and if necessary rephrase. 

The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier