“It’s not worth it,” or “It’s not worth the price,”sound like condemnations but they're not. They're simply incomplete thoughts.

My friend and I were shopping over the weekend, and she saw a blouse she loved and instantly wanted to buy. But when she saw the price tag she changed her mind—not about loving it, but about buying it. When I heard the price, what came out of my mouth was, “Yep, it’s not worth it.” I should be more particular about my language.

From time to time, I’ll talk with  a virtual assistant who’s feeling a bit crestfallen after hearing something similar from a potential client with whom she’s just shared her fees. Maybe you’ve had the same experience?

What I want you to know is that “It’s not worth it,” or “It’s not worth the price,” sound like condemnations of the person or thing being spoken about, but they’re not. They’re simply incomplete thoughts wrapped in sloppy language.

If fully expressed, the thought would include two additional words that change everything. Those are: “to me.”

It’s not worth it (to me).

It’s not worth the price (to me).

When you read them that way, do you have very different feelings than when you read the originals?

It’s far easier to understand that with “to me” added, what’s being said is actually about the speaker and her value system, and not about the thing (or in your case, about your value, or even about your fees being too high).

So, the next time you hear something like “It’s not worth it,” in your head, remember to add the rest of the thought so that it’s complete for you, and less hurtful. When you dispel the painful energy you can take the conversation where it needs to go next with ease and grace.