“Less bad for you” versus “Better for you”

If you know me personally, and have asked me to help you choose between two food items that aren’t good for you, my first answer is probably “well, both are bad for you.”  Your standard response is probably “Yeah, but which one is better for you?”  I always make a slight word edit to the sentence at that point.  I prefer to use the phrase “less bad” versus “better”.

“Better” gives people the impression of a really shiny object with just a little bit of dirt on it, just a minor flaw from perfect, when in all likelihood you’re probably asking me to help you choose between ice cream and french fries.  “Less bad” reminds you that both options are bad options, one of which is just less.  Neither are good, but depending on your situation, one may be “less bad”.

Minor difference, but it is amazing how just changing the way we describe things can completely change our decision-making.

English: A photo of The Thinker by Rodin locat...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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