Earlier this month, Kristin Sorenson of USA Today posted an article looking at a problem many Americans have with saying, “I only have eyes for my kids.” The gist of it is that most of us aren’t qualified to see a problem as a “big problem” when most of our situation involves money, love, or relationships. In reality, most of us can likely find a solution that’s just plain nice—just be there to meet the needs of the problem.

Admittedly, I’m not a Ph.D. psychology professor and I’m not a “mental health expert,” so I don’t have a crystal ball of how to treat people when I come across situations that are similar to mine.

But I do want to see some examples of how communication skills can actually transform people’s lives in a positive way. And “empathy” is one of the key elements that the brain will find attractive. As we learn more about the brain, we’re finding that it has more to do with what people need than the things we think are important. Being able to see people for the most common reasons—of their needs—promises to elicit people to do more to help solve problems.

In the article, Sorenson identifies a few key words that significantly decrease the quality of people’s communication when one of the following words is used:

“I only have eyes for my kids.”

“I have no resources to help.”

“I can’t imagine how my kids would understand what I’m saying.”

“My parents split up.”

People who use these words have lower emotional intelligence (HE), and their minds are worse at processing information when confronted with these words. Heck, losing touch with a person completely has the potential to become entirely worse.

There are other reasons why people use these words. It turns out that because of certain kinds of languages, language miscommunication can be more difficult to correct. As mentioned earlier, many people have their feelings in order to comply with those statements. This may seem like a lot of information to need, but it could actually lead to an interesting and constructive conversation with a new person.

So if you’re one of the people who tend to confuse words and have a bad reaction to them, use these three words to find your way around problems—you never know when you might be the only one at a dinner table struggling to see your spouse.