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My Top 5 Conversational Pet Peeves

conversational pet peeves

There’s an art to good conversation, and sometimes we don’t get it quite right.  When it comes to conversational mishaps, there’s impolite…and then there’s annoying.  Certain patterns are not only irritating but also don’t work or move the relationship forward.  Here are five conversational pet peeves to avoid (we’re all guilty of at least a few!) :

1)  Asking Veiled Questions

This refers to asking something in a roundabout way instead being upfront.  For example, you might ask your friend, “what are your plans this Saturday?”, but what you really want to know is, “can you help me move this Saturday?”  The reason this is problematic is because it creates anxiety for the other person.  He/ she has to guess what it is you’re going for.  It’s much better to be direct and honest about your question.

2)  Arguing Feelings with Facts

This means that someone addresses an emotional concern with a statement instead of validating feelings.  For example, a woman may tell her husband that it hurts her feelings when he often comes home late without calling her.  If he responds, “I wasn’t late on Monday!” he is fixating on the facts instead of addressing the fact that she is upset.  Some people resort to this tactic as a way to avoid blame, but it often backfires and leaves the other person even more frustrated than before.  Focus on the real issue instead of getting distracted by the details.

3)  Offering Opinions as Reality

Some people are so committed to their views that they see them as absolute truth.  A parent may say something like, “That teacher is horrible!”, but what is a much better alternative is “My daughter really struggled in that teacher’s class.” It’s important to be aware of our own bias and own up to our feelings.  Recognize that not everyone else will necessarily have your same experience or opinion.

4)  Leading with “Don’t you think…?

We’ve all heard someone say, “Don’t you think…?” and then proceed with his/her own view about something.  It’s a way of framing the conversation to be controlling.  Leading a sentence this way is also a setup for an argument with someone who doesn’t agree.  Don’t assume someone has the same view as you, and resist the temptation to bandwagon people to your side.

5)  Hijacking Feedback

This refers to how some individuals confronted with critical feedback turn the dialogue back on themselves.  For example, if you tell a friend that you were offended that you were left out of a group lunch, she would be hijacking the feedback if she said something along the lines of, “I’m such a bad friend!  I always leave people out, and I’m not considerate of other people.”  You then are forced to comfort her from her shame, whereas she should be the one owning up to what she did.  In situations like these, it’s important to really hear the other person out, resist making it about you, and then owning up to your words or actions.

5 Minute Relationship Fix: The S Word

five minute relationship fix

Here is the most recent “5 Minute Relationship Fix” segment from the Todd & Erin Show, where I share quick tips to strengthen relationships in just five minutes!

This week, we’re tackling a topic that comes up over and over again:  the “S” word.  Yep, that’s right, we’re talking about sex!

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When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Transition

When a loved one goes through a faith crisis showing respect, compassion, and trust in the relationship are key

When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Transition

Religion is a part of our culture and our identity, both individually and as a society.  Sometimes, however, a person experiences a faith crisis (sometimes referred to as a faith transition) and chooses a different path.  Studies show that 28% of Americans change their religious preference at least once in their lives, and the number continues to grow.  This is an issue that hits the hearts and homes of many in our community, and can unfortunately be a source of great pain, confusion, and potential conflict in families.  Here are some strategies to handle a faith transition of a loved one:  

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How to Make Your Fourth of July Vacation Stress Free

The Fourth of July holiday is quickly approaching, and that means cold drinks, cook-outs, and fireworks. For some, it also means road trips to visit family and friends. With 47% of Americans planning to take road trips this year, that’s a lot of hours on the road that can lead to bickering, stress, and ultimately trip-ending migraines.  Stress is the leading cause of headaches, and no one wants to experience either during a fun family road trip. In an effort to alleviate stress and help families travel this summer holiday season.  Excedrin has put together a few tips and tricks for road warriors:

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Ask Julie: “What Should I Say?”: Studio 5

Straightforward advice for your toughest relationship situations!

This week on KSL TV’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker I tackle viewer’s tough relationship dilemmas in this new Q & A segment called “Ask Julie.”

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5 Minute Relationship Fix: The Chore Wars

5 Minute Rleationship Fix

This is so cool! Every Friday I’ll be sharing a “5 Minute Relationship Fix” on the Todd & Erin Show. Get quick tips to create strong relationships in just five minutes!

This week: The Chore Wars. How to end the fighting and resentment over who does what at home.

Who’s in charge of the dishes? How about the laundry? Who tracks the kids’ activities? Listen and find out how to clarify the domains in your home.


Tech Milestones for Kids (part 2)

Kids and Technology

How early is TOO early for cell phones for kids?

What about computers or iPads in bedrooms? Unsupervised internet access? Let’s get into agreement. I talk through the process with Todd and Erin on Rewind 100.7.

Listen to part 1 here.

Tech Milestones For Kids (part 1)

Kids and Technology

How early is TOO early for cell phones for kids?

Surprisingly, there’s more to it than just age. I walks Todd & Erin through when, what and why. Computers? Unsupervised internet access? Let’s get into agreement on this. Listen to this enlightening interview!

Listen to part 2 here

Handling Complicated Mother Relationships on Mother’s Day (part 2)

Every week I give Todd and Erin Show listeners on Rewind100.7 a homework assignment. This week I challenge listeners to list the positive gifts your mother has offered you and to celebrate those on Mother’s Day. It may be a short list. I also encourage listeners to view their mother as not “good” or “bad” but some mixture of both. Listen to part 1

If you need more than “radio therapy” contact