The Power of Words

This past weekend I experienced the power of words that reminded me of this post that I wrote last year. I will be frank and say that I was on the giving end of words that I regretted the moment they came out of my mouth. Sometimes when we are angry we say things. I gave it some thought and realised I reacted from a place of pain. When we are hurt we might feel the need to cause just as much hurt to someone else. However if you hurt someone because they hurt you what makes you different from them? Tit for tat sounds good in principle but it hurts you more than it does the recipient.

Bitterness and negativity never bring anything positive. I remembered this article that I wrote in my own words last year talking about the power of words. I really should learn to take my own advice….As i remind myself I hope you can also remember this for your own lives…

 WORDS CAN DESTROY            WORDS CAN HARM                    ?                     WORDS CAN HEAL                           WORDS CAN COMFORT

I had a client today who showed me how deep words can go to destroy human relationships. The tongue has the power to destroy and people really take this for granted. Hurtful words are seldom forgotten. Sometimes the behavior and acting out we see in children is really the manifestation of a lot of pain and rejection caused by the words spoken in a moment of anger.

Parents often do not see how much their words to their children affect the teens or adults their children become. If one grows up receiving positive affirmation and words of love it shows in the confidence they show as a young adult and later as an adult. On the other hand a child who is always told “you are not good enough”, “you are useless”, “I should have aborted you” will internalize all this negativity and will not amount to anything more than that which he or she was led to believe.

Many times then parents do not understand why their child behaves a certain way or rejects everyone who tries to help them. If the primary caregiver who is the mother or father has nothing positive to say to their child or about their child, no matter what anyone else may try to say this child will have that sense of something missing in their lives. Until that one person stops rejecting them or says something positive then it will mean something to them.  They will go around searching for affirmation from everyone, in relationships at work and with peers. Often not in a healthy way.

So words have the power to heal or destroy. Especially in young children if we can try to speak to them in a non-rejecting, non-judgemental way they can grow up to see their worth. This is not to say children should not be reprimanded or that a parent or caregiver should not be angry. But the tone of voice and the choice of words should always be considerate. I have seen grown men react negatively to the use of some words only because they recall them being used by people they once thought cared about them. I found out the hard way when I said to a previous boyfriend “you are not worth it”. Little did I know this will trigger a violent reaction and self destruction. Little did I know his father used to say the same words to him over and over again when he was young. So hearing these words repeated was the last straw.

I now endeavor to be kind always and make careful selection of my words. You never know someone’s journey and hurts kept deep inside. And to parents you don’t want your children despising you because they feel rejected by you through the words you say.

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