Chapter VIII – Part 2

$ Hello Margaret, I haven’t seen you for ages!

$ Oh, don’t tell me about it. I don’t have time for anything. At work: many things to catch up on. My husband has been buying a car for a month. I’ll probably have to handle it myself, because I waste so much time commuting. In fact, I can work on my computer when I’m on the bus but there’s not always coverage. Yesterday my son woke up with a fever, so I stayed at home with him and had time to catch up on tidying up, washing and ironing. I have to get better organized.

$ Do you have to?

$ Yes, I do have to.

$ So today let’s get started with what Covey calls proactive language and Marshal B. Rosenberg – a language of responsibility.

$ You did mention this to me.

$ And as far as I remember you bridled up because in your opinion I criticized you for using words like “have to”, “must”, “should”, while your husband criticizes you for “maybe” and “probably”.

$ Unfortunately deep in my heart I agree with it. I agree more with my husband than with you because I really  h a v e  t o  do some things while “maybe” and “probably” are a kind of insurance for me: in case I screw it up, I have a cover: I said: maybe, I said: probably.

$ Good point! I want to thank you for that because this way I can complete the program of my Language Workshops. Have a look at this comparative chart of the proactive and reactive language.


I can’t do anything about it. – I’ll see what I can do about it.

He infuriates me. – I am conscious of my feelings and I regulate them. / When I get angry with people, they help me better understand myself. / Feelings change / I feel anger and I love myself.

They won’t agree with it. – I can make a successful presentation.

I have to / I must. – I can. / I prefer. / I decide. / I choose

I should. – If I really choose… I will…

I can’t. – I have a right to… / I don’t know how yet.

I would… if… – I can make it. / I refuse.

I’ll try… – I’ll do it / I won’t do it.

It’s difficult. – It’s a challenge.

It’s a problem. – It’s an opportunity to… / It’s a chance to grow.

I have a problem with this. – I’ll find out how to solve this question.

I failed. – It was important feedback / an inspiring experience.

I made a mistake. – That’s the result. / It was a very instructive lesson / an important event.

I regret…. – It was food for thought./ I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I wish I had done this. – I didn’t do it and it was the best solution at that time.

I won’t succeed. – I believe in myself / I’ll do my best.

… is guilty. – I am responsible for everything in my life.

I’ll make progress. – I’ll heal. / I’ll learn. / I’ll run through.

Can I use your toilet? – Where’s the toilet?

I’m ok, you’re not ok./I’m not ok, you’re not ok./I’m not ok, you’re ok. – I’m ok, you’re ok.

But – And

At least – ———————————

Probably/maybe – Yes. / No.

I’m planning / I want – I follow my Inner Voice. / I trust

I need – I have


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