Much of our communication with each other is through body language, but words are just as important, as through them we give form to our thoughts. Through words we’re able to verbalise our emotions and feelings. Words hold much power over us; they can sadden us, make us laugh, inspire us, inform us, frustrate or anger us.
Words are a writer’s currency, without them they would cease to exist. The dreaded writer’s block can feel like a debilitating stem in the flow of words on to the page, yet a great many of us, whether writers or not, encounter this hurdle when trying to form our thoughts into words. We seem to hunt around our minds for the perfect words, stringing them together to form complete sentences, in order to say what we need to say.
Many times we are told to think before we speak and if we don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. So often, when words are said, they cannot be retracted. Their power lies therein; once they have been spoken, they cannot be taken back.
Arguments, conflicts and disputes can arise from not thinking before speaking. In this case, words act as weapons. It’s wise to consciously choose our words, so we don’t upset or offend.
As children, we’re told to use our words instead of exerting physical force. The idea that you can come to an agreement through constructive communication follows through into adulthood. Counselling is often the adult way of dealing with conflict and challenges in our lives. As adults we’re always encouraged to talk about our feelings so as to prevent a build up of anger, sadness or frustration. It benefits our growth as human beings to speak out by engaging in positive, open communication with others.
Our minds work much like computers. We receive, process, save and file information and respond accordingly. However, we also accidentally delete vital details, like people’s names or birthdays. On the other hand, we also store old grudges and times we’ve been slighted, packing them safely away in the archives, ready to be retrieved when we feel like indulging in some self-pity. If only we could remember the kind words others have spoken about us, instead of the hurtful ones. It is important to stay mindful of the words you use with others, as you may forget them as soon as they are said, but they may hold them in their memories for years to come.
Words can be detrimental when we use them to attach labels to people. When we judge and speak about them within a negative context, we might contribute to their lack of self-esteem or self-belief. Even the seemingly positive labels, such as hero or outstanding achiever, can be harmful in some ways, as living up to an image becomes impossible.
We are constantly using words to express our feelings and convey our thoughts. Traditionally, we prepare speeches for weddings, graduations, birthdays and other formal functions. With careful consideration we think about what we wish to say, we examine our feelings about a situation and from there, select the most appropriate words. We pay attention to the mood and tone we want to create with our words. A lot of time and effort goes into preparing a speech; however, these occasions only happen once in awhile.
Great speeches given by important figures are often recorded in history and studied for many years to come, but what about those among us who are not so eloquent? What about those who struggle with choosing the most suitable words to express themselves in daily conversations?
The great thing is you don’t have to be the most articulate speaker to convey your feelings. A large vocabulary stands for nothing if you speak insincerely. In fact, the most beautiful and profound sentences ever uttered consist of only a few words like, please, thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you. Often these simple words are the ones most of us long to hear or say.
It is the everyday moments, the seconds between loved ones and others where our words have the greatest impact. Words are one way we shape our thoughts and send out our energy. We can choose to contribute something positive with our words or we can use them for destruction. Which do you choose?