Have you considered the power of words?
Words can dramatically affect relationships, self-worth, opportunities, future out-comes, and physical and mental health. Yet, we toss words around without much thought.
The most damaging aspect of words is that once they are spoken, they can’t be taken back. We can apologise and try and make amends, but we can’t delete them. Once words are spoken, they become a form of energy and impact our physical world.
Our words not only harm others, but ourselves. Words shape our experiences. If we speak words that harm, destroy, manipulate, dis-empower, damage, alienate, threaten, judge and create negativity, we will have similar experiences come back to us.
If we speak words that empower, improve, heal, uplift, include, create hope, motivate, comfort, humour and care, our life experience will be happier and more content.
How we communicate can be constructive or destructive. We have a responsibility to ourselves and others to choose our words carefully. We are all co-creators in this world and have the power to create positive and negative outcomes through our thoughts, words, and actions.
I have become very sensitive to the words I choose. Sometimes I speak them without much thought and the moment they leave my lips I know I have caused damage. The easiest place to do this is with my husband. My words are less guarded with the person I am closest too. I don’t intend to cause harm and damage, yet I speak words to him that I wouldn’t say to anyone else.
I am also sensitive to judgemental gossip. There is nothing helpful that can come from words spoken in judgement about someone behind their back. When I hear gossip, it is purely to make someone else ‘wrong’ and can only cause harm, destruction, and alienation.
10 years after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, he said these words:
“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”Nelson Mandela
He understood more than most that the words he chose could cause peace, healing, and improvement or violence, destruction, and harm.
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How can we fully harness the power of words to create a better world?
Before we speak, consider this:
1. Do the words need to be spoken? Just because we think something doesn’t mean it needs to be said.
2. Am I speaking the truth or using judgements?
3. Is what I am saying productive? Is it helpful in anyway?
4. Am I being kind? Are my words being spoken from a constructive spirit? Consider the impact of the words chosen.
5. Are the words I am using the best words to convey the message I wish to give?
6. Take note of non-verbal language. Is my body language and tone in alignment with the words I am speaking?
7. Am I speaking honestly or being deceptive?
8. Am I being respectful to the other person?
When in a conversation, try and avoid these destructive communication mistakes:
• Avoid speaking just to fill silence. Words have impact.Don’t waste them to avoid an awkward silence.
• Avoid speaking your mind just because you can. Sometimes our ego’s make us believe that it is necessary to say exactly what we think. Almost like a release. Yet often these words cause destruction and harm. Many people say ‘I speak my mind’ like it is an honourable thing to do. But in fact it is the opposite. It is irresponsible to impulsively say everything on our minds.
• Don’t ever speak words designed purely to destroy. We should always be seeking a solution not trying to make someone or something ‘wrong’.
• Don’t use words purely designed to manipulate and get what we want. Consider the other person.
• Avoid participating in any gossip. Gossip only causes pain to someone else. It is harmful to our spirit to spread gossip and it feels dirty to be in its presence.
The power of words has a direct impact on our quality of life. If like me, you want to be a kind, grateful, and happy person, then we need to be mindful of each word we speak. We create our own experiences, which are shaped by our thoughts, words, and actions. Let’s create a healthy world by respecting the power of the words we speak.
Related Article: How To Complain Less & Be Happier