Okay, okay. I know I can be ridiculous with all my silly and sometimes irritating word rules, but words really do matter. Someone told me recently that I’m not the word police and shouldn’t want to be given that it’s an exhausting job. In my mind, someone has to do it, so why not me?
There are many words that bug me or someone I know, so I’ve been known to redirect, correct, or educate others who then choose to use whatever they’re comfortable with. Growing up, my kids knew not to say any bad “S” words. Their friends always thought that meant not saying A$$ which my kids would respond to with, “No, my mom is weird. ‘S’ words are something totally different in our house.”
In our house, “S” words include “Stupid,” which steals worth/denies wisdom, “Sucks,” which fuels negativity toward someone or something, and “Shut Up,” which is harsh and negative, and can easily be replaced by, “Can you please stop or be quiet?”
A lot of people think, “Who cares? They’re just words.” To me, they aren’t just words. I think how and when you use these types of harsh words devalues your message, especially when talking with people who swear all the time. To me, it’s just as easy to sub a different word, like crazy. For example, this is a crazy virus, crazy busy day, crazy situation, my crazy life, and so on. Instead say the words interesting, fasinating, confusing instead of crazy.
There are so many more positive, encouraging, fitting words that we can use. When around others, I like to encourage people to look deeper at their thoughts, think about the words they choose, and the actions they take. Then, I have them ask themselves, “How would the best version of myself think about, speak about, or act in relation to this situation?” Doing this activity challenges us to get in touch with our better half and may lead to better outcomes.
Hearing parents label or call their kids names when they are challenging them just breaks my heart. I love spirited rather than agressive, or going through a phase rather than they are a pain. We are all dealing with life the best we can as we journey thorough many phases. Be Gentle with one another and with your words
I’ve heard many times that words are like toothpaste; they come out quickly and are much harder to return, even with a sorry. Though many words and phrases may not have a direct effect on you, I ask you to think beyond yourself. Words are powerful and to me, it’s all about how our thoughts, words, and actions impact those around us.
For instance, someone who hears, “gave up for adoption,” may associate that with feelings of being unwanted, while saying, “placed for adoption” offers a positive mind shift to feelings of being wanted more or having double the love! For those who know someone who has passed away, saying, “committed suicide,” may seem harsh, insensitive, and triggering while saying, “died by suicide,” recognizes the inability to continue living with such pain, struggle, and hopelessness.
Even if what I’ve said only bothers one person, that’s one too many for me. This week, I encourage you to reflect on your words before letting them out while using the power of positive mind shift to be the voice of those who are hurt by other’s words but will never speak up.
What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
What words have hurt or offended you in the past?
What are your favorite words to say? Why?
What words or phrases do you find yourself correcting when you hear them spoken?