‘Jackal Barking’ Defined

The Point

Marshall Rosenberg called it “jackal language”; Satir called it “blamer mode”. Whatever flavor you like to call it—using negative descriptions, declaring one-word final opinions about the person arguing with you, and saying things like “you always/never…” isn’t smart if your goal is peace.

But in that, there’s another pattern we often miss: “verbal cannonballs” or “barking”. When we’re unhappy, we tend to add words like “anyway” or start sentences with “well”. We don’t normally do this, only when feeling “barky”. When words add no more meaning than a bark, they should be classified as “barking”, more specifically, “jackal barking”.