The Use of Absolutes
What are absolutes? Below are examples of some commonly used ones:
Always All Nobody
Never Must Each
Only None Every
Worst Best Everybody
You’re frustrated that your supervisor criticizes your work, but doesn’t seem to notice a job well done. You say, “Why do you never give me credit for the things I do well?” The problem: You just made a statement that is likely false and the other person will immediately move to counter your demonstrably false statement with exceptions to the rule you just made. Is that really what you want to discuss?
From the above example: “Why do you never give me credit for the things I do well?”, will be answered by some form of the following: “What are you talking about?! Just last week I complemented you on your neat handwriting!” Now you have to get past the barrier created by your false use of an absolute before you can move the discussion to the real issue.