Keep Words Soft and Sweet

In my grandma’s kitchen hung a picture of a grazing cow with the words: 

              Be Careful Of The Words You Say. Keep Them Soft And Sweet, 

              Because You Never Know, From Day To Day, Which Ones You’ll Have To Eat.

Words matter. In times of conflict, it is common for folks to use language that leads to further separation, i.e., “You ruined my birthday, and I hate you” or “I’m sick and tired of you being such a slob.” Would you feel valued and important if someone said these things to you? These statements may lead to someone walking away, or bringing up other complaints about the relationship. Even though the person may be very important, sometimes words and actions may demonstrate otherwise. 

Distinguishing facts from feelings opens communication. It also helps to avoid using adjectives to describe the person or the behavior. Which sentence better conveys that the relationship with the listener is valued?

1) “When I did not see you at my birthday party, I felt disappointed and hurt.”           

2) “You ruined by birthday and I hate you, you selfish…..”  

Would you prefer to talk with someone who says sentence three or four?

3) “When I see your dishes on the couch and the floor, I feel disrespected.”                 

4) “I’m sick and tired of you being such a slob.” 

Choosing words to be both clear and considerate makes a difference. Will you “be careful of the words you say” and “keep them soft and sweet?”

Conflict coaching and conflict resolution skills training give you the tools to handle difficult conversations more constructively with clarity, confidence, and compassion. 

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann Bruckner understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use them. An engaging and authentic speaker, she believes you hold the personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

A small-town mediator with a big heart and global mission, Sherry works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.