Larsen’s Words That Don’t Work – “I’m Confused”

Saying that you are confused CAN be interpreted by the other person as YOUR problem – that in some way you just aren’t SMART enough to get what’s being said or what’s going on.  Not that it’s TRUE that you aren’t smart, but there is a very powerful principle of communication that could be at play here and it’s this:  The meaning of any piece of communication lies ONLY in what the receiver takes it to mean, regardless of the sender’s intention.

So instead, when you don’t understand something, why not use these…


  • “Can you give me an example?”
  • “Say more about that”
  • “I’m puzzled”
  • “I need more information”

Think about it for a second.  “Confused” could carry the implication of “disorientation,” right? While “puzzled” could imply “a mystery to be solved.”

I think it was Mark Twain who once said that “A powerful agent is the right word. When we come upon that exact right word, the resulting effect is…electrically prompt!”

Right on, Marky.

From your Motivational Speaker, Linda Larsen, helping you communicate effectively and get heard!


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. I really love this Linda.  As a motivational speaker, I hear a lot of attendees’ comments about their conflicts at work and at home.  If they would just wait to gather more information by using your ‘Say more about that’ or ‘I need more information’ or my favorite, ‘Can you give me an example?’ before they react defensively, than the world would have a lot less conflict!  

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