Have you ever spoken unkindly to someone? Did the words profoundly affect that person? Words are powerful; and when they are used to hurt someone, they can be devastating. The words you speak and the things you say do have a huge affect not only on yourself, but others as well. Yes, what you say really does matter.
Have you ever called yourself stupid, dumb, idiot? Have you berated yourself in front of the mirror because you feel fat? Do you realize every word you say is being processed by your subconscious and, in some cases, imbeds itself there? Thus, it begins to seep into your conscious self and the feelings of self-worth begin to dissipate.
What you say ultimately translates into eventual belief. If you utter to yourself, “I’m not very good at soccer,” you will never succeed in that sport. You are setting up a defeatist attitude even before you begin. When you begin a thought or a sentence with a negative word, your expectations can never be realized.
So too, you may call someone an idiot. While you may apologize, the word has already been spoken; you can’t take it back. The person on the receiving end of the insult may take it to heart, and can be changed forever. We live in a world where words are used to attack, cajole, embrace, nurture, disengage, provoke and inspire. We not only hurt ourselves, we hurt others as well. Anger, frustration, and disappointment contribute to the misuse of words. Even though the aftermath of unkind words are realized, we still do it. Perhaps the old adage is true, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
It is important to realize the affect words have on us. Whether we mean to say them or not, said often enough they can transform the very essence of who we are. Children are especially vulnerable to words. Yet, we continue to use unkind and often insensitive words as a disciplinary measure. Eventually, they grow up with low self-esteem, or painfully shy, or feel they are worth anything at all.
The next time you speak, think about the words you are about to impart. Choose them wisely when speaking to your peers, and cautiously when speaking to children. Understand that one word can positively or negatively affect someone’s life; even your own.