The Argument

When we’re about to be a bit of a jerk or a bit dishonest, we’ll use terms like, “I want to say,” “I’m just saying,” “To be perfectly honest,” “Don’t take this the wrong way,” or “I hear what you’re saying.” From the speaker’s perspective, these types of terms are used to make it easier to say something difficult or to get a few extra seconds to collect thoughts together.
These “tee-ups” are also a good way to lie, because it softens the blow a bit by distancing you on an emotional level. This might have unintentional consequences to your relationship as a whole because listeners tend to take those types of statements in a negative light. –Thorin Klosowski

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene in which a character uses a verbal tee up to try to soften the blow.

Journaling Prompt: What phrases do you use when you try to soften the blow.

Art Prompt: Verbal tee up

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about verbal tee ups and give them strategies for handling the rest of the conversation.

Photo Credit: roeyahram on Flickr

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