You can’t tell people how to take in your words.

No one has the right to dictate how someone else will receive your words or their feelings or reactions. Thus, you really should not use the cliche “Don’t take this in the wrong way, but ….” There is no such thing as “the wrong way.” The receiver is going to take the speaker’s words the way they take it.

What the speaker really means is, “don’t take this in a way that I don’t mean, or that makes me look like a bad person.” They want to use this opener as a way to say something that is inappropriate, perhaps offensive. They may hope that it will soften the blow. But it is usually not received that way.

It’s the speaker’s responsibility to communicate in a way that aligns with their meaning. It is not the receiver’s responsibility.

Having good intentions isn’t enough. Find the right words to open the conversation. –
“It’s uncomfortable for me to say this out loud, and I’m not sure how it’s going to come across to you.” “Can I share something?”

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