Be Careful of the Emotions Triggered by the Words You Choose

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Do you ever think about the emotional effect your words carry?

Some are obvious - like love, hate, anger, etc. But some are not so obvious.

Sometimes words that seem to convey your meaning actually cause an emotional effect on others that you don't intend or want.

For instance, consider the word "anxious." woman considering word choices

You might say "I'm anxious to meet you," or "I'm anxious to tour your home," or "I'm anxious to begin marketing your home."

And when you say it, you mean that you are looking forward to it. In fact, you can hardly wait!

Unfortunately, the hidden emotion behind the word "anxious" can subconsciously tell people that you're afraid, worried, apprehensive, or dreading it.

Obviously, not everyone will pick up that vibe. But since some will, it's better to replace "Anxious" with "eager."

"Eager" says you're "rarin' to go!"

Another troublesome word is "Expert."

That one can convey a feeling that you think perhaps you're better than anyone else. It signifies a bit of arrogance. You can replace that one with "Specialist" and create a warmer feeling in the people who read your messages.

When you think about all the emotions that words carry, and how important it is to choose just the right ones, don't you feel sorry for people who are trying to grasp English as their second language? I sure do!

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Rainmaker
169,067
Larry Bergstrom
Crescent Realty, Inc. Spanaway, WA. - Spanaway, WA
CNE, CRS, GRI

Marte, you're so right! Words can have a lot of impact. Some good, and some not-so-good.

Jan 07, 2011 11:58 AM #1
Rainer
92,374
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Marte:

Wonderful post; reminds me of something I touched on years ago - Non-Violent Communication.  Thanks for reminding me!

Jan 07, 2011 11:59 AM #2
Ambassador
2,357,654
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

This is a real challenge in some areas of Florida, where many of the Buyers are Internationals.  A word, a saying, even a hand gesture can mean something entirely different than what you were attempting to convey. 

Jan 07, 2011 02:14 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,542,924
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Larry - And you can intend to convey something positive but come up with a negative.

Ellen - I haven't heard about non-violent communication. Must be something I should check into.

Fred - I can imagine the difficulty. I listened to a great CD a couple of years ago about dealing with people from different cultures. In some a handshake is like an insult - and even a woman had best not touch another woman. That wouldn't be difficult for me, but a lot of folks are in the habit of reaching out to touch a hand or an arm as they are talking. And they certainly don't mean it as an insult!

Jan 07, 2011 02:55 PM #4
Rainmaker
551,512
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Marte,

You are so right. I've loved using the phrase "I'm looking forward to going to work for you."

Jan 07, 2011 02:55 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,542,924
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Good choice Lynda!

Jan 07, 2011 03:05 PM #6
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Marte, Good point about the word anxious..which could produce anxiety. Eager is a much better choice.

Margaret

Jan 07, 2011 03:06 PM #7
Rainmaker
248,047
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Marte: You're right on with this post. I went through extensive training to work on a crisis center hotline. A big part of it was language. It is a subject to keep at the forefront of your consciousness everytime you speak with anyone.

Jan 07, 2011 03:37 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,542,924
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Margaret - I used to use the word anxious all the time until I realized that it might convey the wrong emotion.

Matt - I can imagine that does take extensive training - especially when you deal with people from so many different cultures. Kudos to you for doing it!

Jan 07, 2011 04:10 PM #9
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Marte, great point! I am often conscious of words as my husband reminds me so many times how some words seem to have a different effect on him. English is not his first language. I always say that I am looking forward to... as anxious seems negative to me personally.

Jan 07, 2011 10:12 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,542,924
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Andrea - You have a good source of knowledge in your husband. I don't envy anyone trying to understand the complexities of the English language.

Jan 08, 2011 05:48 AM #11
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Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I agree on "expert" and "specialist".  In fact, before I read this I wrote someone who requested a short sale consultation and told her my "specialist" will be calling them monday AM.  Expert sounds like it is the end all be all hard core salesperson.  A specialist sounds like the consult and allow you to make the decision!

Jan 08, 2011 07:22 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,542,924
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Renee - I think so too. Specialist is a much friendlier word. It conveys someone who would be approachable and helpful. Expert sounds like "I know it all."

Jan 08, 2011 07:53 AM #13
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Rainmaker
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