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You wanna get someone’s blood pumping? Text them the words: “Can we talk?” No matter who is sending this text, the “we need to talk” or “can we talk” phrases are enough to send a person into an immediate panic and a spiral of thoughts.

For the record? You should never be sending these texts yourself.

Refinery 29” considers doing so “psychological warfare.” Dr. Linda Kaye explains, “messages like this never foster positive reactions in us” and our natural reaction is to anticipate something negative. In general, you should be clear and concise with what you need to talk about.

  • Consider your tone and the power dynamic of your conversation
  • Keep in mind that there are no nonverbal cues for the other person to pick up on. Throw in an emoji if it’s something light.
  • Be more specific and say: “Can we talk about your plans for next week?” or “Can we talk about the meeting you’re presenting tomorrow?”
  • Whatever you do, DON’T leave them hanging. Respond back in a timely manner.

Source: Refinery 29