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· Everyone agrees with me that you come across too strong.
· Everyone agrees with me that you ignore me when we go out.
· Everyone agrees with me that you drink too much.
Does everyone REALLY agree? How do you know that? EVERYONE? It’s impossible to say this and be accurate. The reason that’s a problem, is that using this phrase will provoke some of the following responses:
· Well, who is everyone?
· How do you know that? Nobody’s said anything to me.
Then you end up arguing about the “everyone” part, and completely lose the issue you wanted to address.
Beyond that, these phrases are used to pressure, marginalize and force the other person to conform to the mythical opinions of unnamed people. It’s dirty fighting. Do you want to win the argument so badly that you would do this? And at what cost?
Make It Better:
Speak for yourself. Take responsibility for your own perceptions and don’t use the alleged opinions of unnamed people to buttress your position. You could, however, invite the other person to talk to others.
If you feel you must mention the opinions of other people, think again. If you absolutely feel it’s necessary, indicate who said what, AND ask permission from those people to share their opinions, before you mention them.
· John, I’ve noticed something about this, and I don’t know if your friends might have seen the same thing. It might be a good idea for you to ask Derek and Mary what they think?
· Jerry mentioned to me he has noticed you seem to be drinking more often, and he was OK with me mentioning this to you. Is something going on we need to talk about?