The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. –Mark Twain
Words are very powerful. They can hurt, divide, acknowledge, support, encourage, sadden, anger, enliven, provoke, guide, teach, etc.
Words are also very powerful in another sense. In order to actively listen to someone else, we internalize what is being said. In other words, we “take in” the other person’s experience to some degree. So imagine what happens when what’s coming out of our mouths is negative and in order for someone else to listen to us, they will experience the negative too. It’s no wonder we often feel better after we vent….we’ve just given the other person the “gift” of our experience.
I realize it’s important to feel heard and supported when we are experiencing life in a negative way. It’s also important to take responsibility for what we are saying because the other person gets to experience the negativity right along with you.
Take notice when you are talking to someone else and be mindful of what you’re saying. Let’s all take a step in the right direction and share our words with others responsibly and respectfully.