Sniper Danger Phrases: If you hear these-run for your life-you might be next target

A blog by Jean M. Schmith

"It's the truth" coupled with "I don't care"--

Two of the greatest sniper danger phrases of all time--

Generally when Dan discusses sniper danger phrases (or any other type of danger phrase), he is suggesting that the speaker not use them--and he then tells you why.  But he also believes sniper danger phrases can be a signal when you HEAR them spoken by others.  They may even signal the need for distance from the speaker.

Example: Someone is making a hurtful statement--a judgment perhaps--about you or someone you know and you shine a spotlight on the statement.  

John says:  "Charlotte, you must notice that your little girl is gaining weight.  Do you really think that's healthy for her to be so fat?"

You witness this, and later speak to John:  "John, were you trying to hurt Charlotte's feelings when you said that?  Were you making a comment on her parenting?"

John responds with: "Well it's the truth.  The girl is fat and needs to lose weight."

You say "John, it's your truth, your observation.  But you must know that you hurt Charlotte's feelings, and certainly her daughter's--who was standing next to her."

John responds with a shrug.  "I don't care.  What I said was true."

One of the principles of mindful communication is that NOT everything that comes into the head needs to come out of the mouth.  "It's the truth" is often just an excuse to pass a mean-spirited judgment on someone.  As Winston Churchill once said: "By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach."  Or consider the old Spanish proverb:  "Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence."  In other words, if what you are about to say is unkind--don't say it.  And if the hurt caused by a comment is pointed out, and the speaker's response is "I don't care"--run for your life.  You are in the presence of a sniper, and you will eventually be the target.


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