With our ability to speak, comes great responsibility because our words can significantly change the lives of others. Depending on how we use them, they can devastate or uplift.
Our words can ruin others’ self-esteem. Though the phrase “action speaks louder than words” is true in many situations, our words can have the same impact as our actions. We don’t always have to physically do something to tear another person down. Sometimes all we need are the “right” words. For instance, constantly telling someone that they will never amount to anything can cause them to start believing this.
Our words can breed mistrust. People sometimes spout venomous words during heated arguments. After the argument, hurt feelings linger because of what was said. A common excuse of people who use hurtful words is “I didn’t mean it. I only said it because I was angry.”
For instance, if you tell someone that you hate them during an argument and then say that you didn’t mean it, the other person won’t believe you all because you were careless with your words. No matter how many times you apologize, they will never forget your words, which created a wound they simply cannot dismiss.
How They Heal
Humans need strength to cope with difficult situations. The right words from someone else can alleviate our stress or make us stronger. For instance, you’re depressed because of financial woes or because you can’t let go of the memory of your harsh past. When someone who knows what you’re going through says, “You can get through this,” “Don’t worry, this is just a phase you’re going through,” “Things will get better soon,” “Look on the bright side,” “You’re one of the strongest people I know,” or “Here’s what you need to do,” you may suddenly feel hope.
Humans need appreciation. When we use our words to appreciate someone who deserves it, we satisfy their basic need for recognition. For instance, children like being praised by their parents for doing well in school and spouses want their significant other to verbally communicate their love. When someone tells you, “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me,” “You did a great job,” or simply “Thank you,” you feel appreciated.