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Avoid "panic language": it's "b*tch talk" (case study)

This is similar to "crying wolf" we've seen and defined already.

Crying wolf is to exaggerate the extent of one's suffering, desperation and "need for help".

It can make strategic sense sometimes -for example when it's a real emergency- as people will pay more attention.
But you end up sounding like a b*tch (or a turkey manipulator) when it's not really urgent (and people won't take you seriously anymore).

Similar for "panic language".


Him: could you refund the extra payments taken in error (...) I am extremely worried (...)

What's wrong with it?

It's simply that "extreme worry" is miscalibrated for the situation.

And even if you actually are extremely worried, you may still want to avoid it.

Think about what it says about the person.

You are extremely worried, for what?
For some extra payments you did with a credit card, that a good business will immediately revert, and if not you can still claim through a chargeback?

And if, worst of the worst, it's still only just money (and certainly not a huge amount for a developed economy citizen as in this case)?

If you're extremely worried for this, what are you gonna be then for the next possible financial crisis, Covid mutation, war, health concerns, relationship issues, and all the other 90% of life issues that are much bigger than this?

Panic language in non-panic situation sub-communicates that you cannot be relied upon in any challenging situation, and that's rather low-value (and certainly not very leader-like).

This type of over-reactive behavior keeps you stuck at the bottom.

Finally, it also frames TPM poorly since it implies that TPM may not be the type of business to refund extra charges (also, notice the frame of "taken in error" rather than "done in error", which slightly shifts the blame on the business, albeit he did well to avoid any accusatory tone or, worst, imply malice).

All in all, I just couldn't help but lose a lot of respect for this customer.
Add the mistrust he showed for TPM, and part of me wanted to just reply "stop being a bitch", refund him of everything and close the account.

Of course no business will say that.
And few if any people will say that in normal life.

But you still lose a lot of respect from a lot of people with the "panic language".

And you'll hardly gain any respect, status, or become any leader in any group/business, or even relationship.

So, avoid it.
On the opposite, you may want to make it a point to behave even more coolly and level-headedly in the face of risk or potential loss.

Ali Scarlett and Bel have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?