by Becky Wood
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Actually, words can inflict wounds that are more deadly and harder to heal than physical ones.
Who has not been hurt by a careless remark or thoughtless reply? If we strike back, the result will be an argument, at least, or the end of the relationship, at worst. How do we stop the cycle and bring about a good outcome for everyone involved?
By choosing our words carefully, we have the best chance to bring the interchange to a positive conclusion. Taking a step back, literally if necessary, allows us time to think about what the other person means to us, which can help diffuse the hurt when we remember our positive history together. It could be that the other person needs encouragement because of difficult things they are experiencing, or reassurance that we truly care.
Rudyard Kipling once said words are “the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Words can soothe or smother, calm or cut, heal or harm, stimulate or stifle, build or bully, preserve or punish. Life and death are in the power of the tongue!
Let us choose wisely the words we use and remember that sometimes the kindest thing we can say is simply “I love you” then leave it at that. But what about our attitudes? Actions speak louder than words, but that is another blog!
For additional reading about the power of words in relationships, click any of the links below. Whatever your belief, words matter.