One of the sayings I remember most from my childhood years is “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As I grow older and learn the power of words, I start to realize that maybe it is just a phrase our parents told us. Something, like a tool, that we could use to make the words that those mean kids spit out seem not so bad. Makes us feels strong because those words can’t hurt us, right?
Then you get a little older, and you realize that one thing said can change someones life. It can be the last sentence that persons ever hears. The words that throw him or her over the edge. Solidifies their beliefs that they aren’t made for the world and can no longer handle their life. Then we read the letter later and we realize that maybe, had we said one nicer thing or even said something at all. That person would still be here.
On the other hand, that one sentence that we choose to say, or hell even a smile, can turn a person’s life around. We have heard of these people, on their way, ready to meet their maker and leave this cruel world. Who were met by someone who smiled and said “Hi”, someone who saved their life and changed the end result of that persons day. By acknowledging a stranger, we have potentially changed and saved a life.
Now think of a time when maybe you could have or should have said something differently, or not at all. Would the situation have gone a lot differently? Are there words you wish you could take back?
One way that solidifies the importance and power of words is from my past, toxic relationship to my current, healthy relationship. While all couples argue, it should never be with the intent to hurt the other. Fights in the past were full of hurt. Fights for no reason at all, fighting just because it’s what we were used to, spitting words you would never say to someone you really love. Throwing things in each others face, things we had once trusted in this person. Bringing up the past, or saying things that maybe were not true. but we knew it would cut so deep. That was the point. How bad could we make this person hurt? It’s crazy how a toxic relationship/friendship can bring out the worst in you and make you someone you would have never imagined. Someone you could come to hate.
We need to realize the power our words can hold. They can make another feel loved, hated, attacked, stronger, happy, sad, angry, they hold the power to build up or destroy a relationship. Be that between lovers or friends. One of the most important parts of any relationship is communication. How you make that person feel; Are the welcomed? Can they be themselves with you? Is how they are as a person, accepted?
One of the most important things I have learned is to think, and think again before you speak. Especially in crucial conversations. Heated, upset conversations filled with so much emotion. So much hate is spit out in times where stakes are high. It’s easy, these days to write out a message to someone, hit send. We don’t have to see how our words are portrayed or just how they affect someone. Words are taken in the wrong context and once they are said, we can not take them back and sometimes we can not recover after they are said.
Think when you speak, is this something that I can recover from? Am I ready for the consequences these words might have? If someone were to say such things to me, how would I feel? Is what I am about to say really crucial to the conversation?
In times when you might be seeing red, emotions are high, think of love. Stop for 3 seconds and think about what this person means to you. Is this someone you are willing to lose over some petty argument or misunderstanding? Are you ready to spend time or even the rest of your life without them? Most importantly, if you say what you are about to say, are you going to be able to return to a normal, relationship where you are both comfortable? Words may be forgiven but they can not be forgotten.
So much time is lost and so many relationships are ruined because someone didn’t stop and think about what they were about to say. So many family members and close friends no longer talk because something so little was blown out of proportion, words were spit and egos were too big to admit fault. Instead years are spent not talking. Then years pass, maybe someone realizes they were both wrong, that life is too short to spend time angry or holding a grudge. It’s hard to go back to where you were in a relationship. How do you go back? Sometimes you never will.
Why? Because the words we choose are sometimes stronger and more powerful than we are prepared to handle.
Do me a favor, think of someone who you had a falling out with, words were exchanged and friendship was lost. Think of what the person means to you. Heaven for bid, but if something were to happen to this person today, tomorrow, next week, would you be okay knowing how things ended? Find the words, the right ones. Tell them how you are feeling. How things got out of control. I have done this to many and while we may not have the same relationship we once had, but we have a relationship.
Life is unexpected and can change on a dime. It takes a lot more energy “hating” someone than it does to love someone. Appreciate all you are given in this life. No one is perfect, everyone is annoying sometimes. Everyone has bad days, days where they feel under appreciated. Don’t let one more second pass.
Stop reading this, and go. Go talk to the person(s) you thought about while reading this.