Larsen’s Words That Don’t Work: “I’m sorry to have to tell you this…”

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this.”

Ouch!  That one is a pre-hurt to the main hurt and it’s usually quite ineffective.

Rick’s ophthalmologist COULD have said that to him when she examined his eyes and discovered that he needed cataract surgery.  But instead she said, (and these were the exact words that she used), “I’m so jealous of you.  Because you have a cataract and after you have surgery to correct it, you’re going to have 20/20 vision in that eye.”

Wow. Cool.

How do you present negative information?   Are there ways that it could be positioned as a positive?  Sometimes it just takes looking at the situation from a few different angles before speaking.

So let me see.  I need John to fix dinner tonight…  Hmmmm.  How about,

“John I am so jealous of you! You get to make dinner tonight and create the happiest, most grateful, most joyous spouse in the world!”

No?  Well, it’s worth a try…

From your motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, who likes to test out her theories…


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. Great example of how approaching a problem from a different angle can make all the difference – for someone else! My mother-in-law has upcoming cataracts surgery, which she has been dreading. Too bad she doesn’t have your friends ophthalmologist. 

  2. Such a great challenge for all of us to take on as motivational speakers who want to be the example….but very challenging to do!  I’ve tried to break the “bad” news to my family that they’re eating tofu for dinner because the great news is that it will stave off heart disease in the long run!!  Grunts, moans, food eaten.

  3. After finding out my flight home was cancelled a few years back, I remember telling my youngest daughter  who was upset with the news, “Well, this just gives us more time to realize how much we miss each other.”

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