Descriptions are better than labels

Instead of labeling people, places, and things, describe them. For example: instead of saying, “I’m an idiot,” say, “I locked my keys and my cell phone in the car.” Or, instead of saying, “Tom is a goddamn louse,” say, “When Tom gets home from work, he watches TV and neglects his chores.”

Labeling, by definition, requires generalizing; generalizing, by definition, omits information. And with less information, it’s harder to think accurate thoughts and make informed choices.¬†Emotionally loaded language (i.e., “a louse“) that describes people, places, and things in absolute and unalterable terms (i.e., “an idiot“) distorts reality. You will be happier, make better decisions, and earn respect if you simply describe events and behaviors as they are.