Words are powerful.
They can uplift. They can destroy. They can encourage. They can be wasted.
There are things that I fear saying aloud or writing down because it would make them too real. Fixed into existence. Tangible.
I use them with care because I understand how much weight they can carry. A throw-away, forgettable statement to you could be something that resonates deeply with another.
Words can linger in a person’s mind forever.
I can think of a few that I still struggle to forget.
I experienced two interesting things this week:
I was made fun of by a friend on a day I was feeling confident.
I was complimented by a cashier on a day when I was feeling anything but attractive.
I had my feelings hurt by a friend and my day brightened by a stranger.
This got me thinking about the way that we talk to each other. The cause and effect of simple word exchanges throughout our day.
Sometimes, people say the most hurtful things to the ones that they care about. To their friends. To their family. We’re comfortable enough to be rude.
Maybe it’s because we assume they’ll brush it off. Sometimes, we do. Sometimes not. So, we allow ourselves to tease, ridicule, or talk down to the people closest to us. Whether they’re little jabs or full-blown insults, they add up.
No wonder so many people walk around not feeling “good enough”. From our own friends to the internet comments, judgement is everywhere.
Stop critiquing people.
They may laugh it off or return the insult, but be aware that you don’t always know when you’ve struck a nerve with someone. We don’t always show it when someone has hurt our feelings, do we?
Let them be who they are, wear what they want, and do what they do.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. A valuable lesson we all learned in childhood that so many have forgotten.
What would you want to hear on a bad day?
Receiving an unexpected compliment from a person I didn’t know, when I never would’ve expected a positive word, made an amazing impact on my state of mind.
You have the ability to do the same for someone whenever you like.
Words and Anger
Anger rarely visits me. In my opinion, that’s how it should be.
But when it arrives…I get quiet.
My responses become short, measured, and delayed.
This is NOT my natural response to anger. It’s a choice.
Anger is a reflex. A subconscious impulse. I have no interest in being dictated to by my impulses. There is no mindfulness in this approach.
When I was younger, my instinct was to think of the most hurtful thing to say when I got angry. To say the thing that would stop them in their tracks. It didn’t have to be true. I just wanted to win.
This is lack of self control. No one wins. There is no progress.
I don’t want to say something that I can’t take back while in the midst of an emotional surge. I don’t want to say anything that I don’t truly mean.
Instead, I choose to listen.
Listen and process. Take stock of what I’m really feeling in that moment rather than resorting to insults in an effort to protect my ego. That’s the easy way out. It’s the enemy of honesty.
Only in choosing to listen can I communicate my frustration in a clear and accurate way. A way that will actually get my point across.
Too many people spend their time mindlessly talking or waiting for their turn to speak. Planning what they’re going to say next, while forgetting to actually hear what the other person is saying.
Listen to how you talk to (and about) others.
I know people that constantly say they feel misunderstood. People that are sensitive and kind at their core, but display arrogance and indifference through their words on a daily basis.
Be aware of how people will perceive you through your choice of words.
No. Their perception does not define you.
But, an incorrect perception can leave you feeling disconnected.
You don’t care? Keep on keepin’ on. But if you want people to have a more accurate representation of who you feel you are, then you have to be that person through your words and actions.
When I hear someone that uses most of the words coming out of their mouth to make fun of other people, I hear nothing but insecurity.
It’s a response people have to not feeling right about themselves. Instead of turning inward to evaluate what they’re dealing with, they take it out on an outside source.
Tip of the Day:
Next time someone throws a snotty comment in your direction, you’re gonna pause (give them a second to really hear what they just said), smile, then hit ’em with something like:
“Always good to see you.”
“You have an amazing day.”
Someone tries to pick on you for a purchase, a style choice, or any decision that you feel great about:
“That’s nice. I’m actually really happy with it.”
Then, walk away.
0% chance of comeback, 100% of the time.
Don’t you let those people bring you down.
If they’re negative, bored, aimless, make decisions out of fear and not progress, have a different view on success in life, have a different style than you, are argumentative for no damn reason, seem to bully people by nature, or don’t even know who the hell you are?
Brush that shit off.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you’ve gotta decide which words are worth internalizing. Do not waste your mental energy on nonsense, unsolicited judgement.
Words should be used for comfort, motivation, connection, and truth. Surround yourself with people that feel the same.
Be mindful of what you say.
Don’t be a hater.
Compliment someone today.