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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Powerful Words: Use with Caution

We are always communicating. Even, our act of silence is a form of communicating.

Verbal, non-verbal, vocal or written for all of this we use words. Words are extremely powerful which can lead to creating, developing and growing a relationship. On the other hand words can be destructive and can easily sabotage and kill a relationship. 

This relationship could be with your sister, brother, mother, father, friends, work people or your lover. The most important of all the relationship is the relationship with yourself. 

So, even in our silence we have our inner voices that talk to us and say things to us. These inner voices use words with us to communicate with us, these are our inner thoughts.

We should be more aware of what we say to others and to ourselves with these words. Some words are extremely powerful and should be used cautiously. These common words we use day to day without realising they cause more damage than helping us and others. 

These words being:

  • But – "You look beautiful but....". Notice how the "but" immediately deletes what was said before it. "But" is the sledgehammer to anything you say. It has the ability to diminish or negate the phrase that precedes it. Note "however" is soft way to say but, so should be avoided as well. Instead replace the "but" with an “and”. 
  • Should – "You should have...." . Amazing how "should" arouses a sense of feeling guilty. It's one of the worst words to use in scenarios where the solution applied has not worked. Then someone says "we should" or even worse "you should". 
  • Don't –  "Don't think of a pink elephant". I am sure you thought of an elephant or pink colour or thought how will a pink elephant look like. The brain finds it difficult to process something said in the negative. It has to do that act to comprehend what "don't" meant. So, if you end your email saying "do not hesitate to contact me" then you are really telling the person not to contact them. Maybe you could replace this with "feel free to contact me"
  • Try – is consider a disguised word for failing. "Try" is seeking or giving the permission to fail. Remember Nike slogan “just do it”.  You replace the "try" with "do your best" or "I will do my best".
  • Why – this word easily makes a person feel defensive and find justifications for his/her actions. Instead use the word “how” or “and”.
Words can make you move backwards or forwards. Be selective in the words you use with others and especially the words you use with yourself.