Three little words to keep in mind – By Geoff Tan

In a world of increasing auditory and and visual overload, brevity has become rare.

Everyone seems to be saying so much, but how much of what one is saying actually gets through to his audience?

Turn on the television set, and you are inundated with numerous channels. After work, you are likely to be nagged at by your parents or spouse. And with the proliferation of social media, you are blasted with information 24/7.

But how much of what is said helps to bring people closer together?

Recently, I received an e-mail message titled “Three Little Words”. It was about 10 three-word sentences which were familiar, yet foreign – for it has been a while since I uttered them.

It gave me a jolt when I realised how these short sentences can mean so much.

For example, telling your friends or partner “I’ll be there” and “Count on me” assures them that they can rely on your support, no matter what.

Saying “You are right” and “Please forgive me” communicates your humility in admitting your imperfections and mistakes. The phrases “I understand you” and “Let me help” reflect empathy and thoughtfulness, while “I respect you” helps to set the stage for a good friendship or relationship.

A simple “I thank you” is not only polite, but also expresses your appreciation for receiving help from others.

Finally, there are “I miss you” and “I love you” – verbal expressions of the deep longing and affection you feel for another.

Have you said any of these sentences lately? If not, perhaps it’s time to make a conscious effort to express your love appreciation to the people around you.

My parting shot in three words?

Go do it!

The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings’ marketing division.


Below is the ‘compilation’ of the Three Little Words for your thoughts:

I’ll Be There

Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and to us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. ‘Being there’ is at the very, very core of civility.


I Miss You

Perhaps more marriages could be salvaged and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other, “I miss you.” This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved.


I Respect You

Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. It is a powerful way to affirm the importance of a relationship.


Maybe You’re Right

This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring frayed emotions. The flip side of “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting “maybe I’m wrong.”


Please Forgive Me

Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up to he has been in the wrong, which is by saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.


I Thank You

Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude. Always have an attitude of gratitude.


Count On Me

“A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.” “Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship; it is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those who are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there, indicating “you can count on me.”


Let Me Help

The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they pitch in and help.


I Understand You

People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel the other person accepts and understands them. Letting others know in so many little ways that you understand him or her is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship.


Go For It

Some of your friends may be non-conformists, have unique projects and unusual hobbies. Support them in pursuing their interests. Rather than urging your loved ones to conform, encourage their uniqueness – everyone has dreams that no one else has.


I suppose the 3 little words that you were expecting to see have to be reserved for those who are special; that is I Love You.


Go Apply It, and it will be an enriching experience for every relationship.


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