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Hurtful Words That Shatter The Human Soul
Words That Penetrate The Human Soul
As we uncover the power of words let's begin by realizing the strong effect and impact words have on us. Every word we choose either lifts us up or drags us down. And then there are those words that penetrate the human soul.
Any remarks directed at us that are in the form of criticism damage us. This may mean that we need to learn a whole new way of speaking. There are ways to correct someone's actions that are kind and helpful without hurling harsh criticism - and all criticism is harsh.
The following list presents some examples of harmful phrases to avoid:
- What are you doing? Do it this way! - Implies that the person is wrong, stupid, dumb.
- Why are you doing this? - The person starts questioning and doubting himself leading to low self-esteem.
- Don't ever do this again! - Instills fear and leads to anger and finally depression.
- Who did this? Projects blame and fear deep within.
- You know better! - Really? An action doesn't always have anything to do with knowledge. But the recipient begins to doubt his level of intelligence. Highly destructive.
This list is only a small dent of words and phrases commonly used that shatter one's self-esteem. I speak from experience as well as knowledge
A Silent Epidemic
As a child receiving both physical and emotional abuse, if given the choice between the two, my preference would be physical by far.
A child’s spirit is broke long before the bone splinters. And both adult men and women also suffer emotional and physical abuse, thinking it is deserved because of the severe low self-esteem we carry. These levels of low self-esteem are a result of abusive words and behavior.
Verbal attacks on either a child or an adult can manifest in a variety of ways including comparing , criticizing, teasing , name-calling , insulting , rejecting and the evaluating of the child's or adult's behavior. The insulting word and the way it is directed hurt the human soul forever. It is indeed, a silent epidemic .
Sticks And Stones
I was taught, as many of you were taught, that “If you can’t say something nice about a person, say nothing at all.” While this saying certainly has merit, it can also be a form of abuse.
When a child is being abused by one parent and the other on-looking parent watches in silence, making no move to protect the child, that silence is wrong and abusive as well. This is one example when saying something nice may not help. Intervention is what is needed.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” could not be further from the truth. Each one of us has at one time or the other been on the receiving end of hurtful words. Make no mistake about it - those painful words not only hurt, they also change us forever. While broken bones can heal in time, words filled with rage, bullying, belittling and scoffing never heal. Even with therapy, time and knowledge – hurtful words remain for a life-time.
"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." Frank Outlaw.
Build a Library of Positive Words
Here is an easy way to begin to make a change in how you use words to communicate.
- Start building your own personal positive word list
- Begin by listing “feel good” words such as great, wonderful, magnificent, remarkable, etc. After you’ve completed your list, grab the dictionary (or go on-line) and continue searching for additional mind-building words.
- It’s important to review these words daily. Repetition is the mother of learning and change
- Practice using some of the words on your list daily. Engage in a conversation with a family member, friend or neighbor.
- Incorporate your list of words into brief sentences. Let’s say you have the word “great” on your list. You might use it like this. “Hi Bob, what a great day.” You pick up the phone and answer, “Mary, how fantastic to hear from you.” The word “fantastic” is on your list.
These exercises seem simple enough, however, if you’re in the habit of just blurting out words without thinking, it won’t be so easy.
Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.
Words Can Hurt or Words Can Heal
Powerful enough to manipulate thinking
Tender enough to induce mercy
Angry enough to cause injury
Sad enough to bring tears
Creative enough to produce thought
Happy enough to bring a smile
Cold enough to cause a chill
Strong enough to break a will
Bitter enough to prevent forgiveness
Expressive enough to hear the music
Selfish enough to starve another
Confused enough to bury a brother
Bold enough to conquer fear
Kind enough to quiet a tear
Empty enough to destroy emotion
Abrupt enough to interrupt thought
Inspiring enough to invoke change
Beautiful enough to feel inspired
Condemning enough to create a liar
Binding enough to make secure
Brutal enough to be harsh and cruel
Controlling enough to be possessive
Consoling enough to often bring comfort
Inflicting enough to cause pain
Witty enough to bring laughter
Painful enough to cause sorrow
Funny words that make you giggle
Optimistic words filled with hope
The Purest Form of Communication
The Tone of The Voice
There is something to be said for how we use words when directed to another person. This is referred to as the tone of the voice. Most parents do not set out to intentionally hurt their child. Yet emotional child abuse can be done without a parent even realizing it. This is done by using the tone of the words as we deliver them.
When a parent is over-emotional, it carries over into the words directed at the child (or adult.) Take the word "good night." This word can be said with anger, yelling, screaming, or void of no emotion what-so-ever. You might as well wish the recipient a bad, horrible, terrible night.
On the other hand, even if your conduct has been on the irritable side, with a loving and sweet tone to your voice it gives the person a sense that everything is ok - or better yet, "I'm ok."
We notice tone in the voice more often when the person speaking has an attitude. Though the person doesn't often realize it - this tone is down right abusive and leaves the recipient with a feeling of stupidity.
"Better than a thousand useless words is one word that gives peace." Buddha
Speaking Words of Encouragement To Yourself
This may sound like a strange assignment and it may feel a bit uncomfortable in the beginning.
What I want you to realize is the "strongest voice you will ever hear comes from inside of you .". (Audrey Hunt.) And the more we use positive words for ourselves, the easier it becomes to encourage others and make a difference in their lives.
Whether you believe it or not, repeat the following exercise often:
While you're on your daily walk - Do some self-talk and make it all positive.
- I am thankful for my body. I love and accept every part of my amazing body. I no longer judge and criticize my body.
- I am individual and unique. There is only one of me. I will be all that I can be.
- Everyday in every way my life is better and better.
- I am an exceptional writer. Words come to me easily and effortlessly.
- I respect myself. I honor myself.
- I am in the right place at the right time.
- I am successful and reach my goals
Words that penetrate the human soul, include our own soul and deserves the best of all words.
In the comment section below, please feel free to add your own affirmations.
One of my favorite quotes on words -
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." Mother Teresa
You and I, along with everyone else, navigate our entire lives using words. When we change and improve our words then we begin to change and improve life.
© 2012 Audrey Hunt