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Knowing the Power of Words - Thoughts and Quotes

Updated on September 5, 2012

Written or spoken, words are continuously propelling us through life. They lift us up, drag us down, wound us deeply or heal our hearts. Words have the power to break confidences, build lifelong alliances or start wars.

Words can make or break us, both as individuals and as a society. What have you been saying lately?

The words you speak can have a profound effect on the people they reach. Are you encouraging or discouraging? Are you building up your children, your spouse, your friend or even the stranger you pass on the street? Or are you tearing down your own family with words of criticism, bitterness and judgment? Are you causing the destruction of your self-esteem by speaking ill suited words over yourself, your health and prosperity?

Words have set whole nations in motion…Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world. Joseph Conrad

Words set in stone.
Words set in stone.

God, Horses and the Human Tongue

In the Bible, James compares the human tongue to a horse. We have mastered controlling this tremendous, spirited animal with a small piece of metal, yet we are far from controlling the words that fall from our lips.

If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to harness the whole body...Indeed we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn (or control) their whole body. James 3:2-3

Why then, do we find it so difficult to refrain from saying words we know will only harm? Controlling what we say, though, how hard do we really try? Is it simply a form of self discipline that we are lacking? We seek to control every single aspect of our lives. Self-control? Nah, what fun is that?

Surely it is easier to harness the power of a wild horse than to reign in your tongue. It does seem to take on a life of its own bursting out of control at times when emotions are elevated. Whether we are quickly placing our foot in our mouth or cutting down another driver in rush hour traffic, it is a problem most of us (unless you live in isolation) combat daily.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. “ Dorothy Nevill

Maya Angelou on the Power of Words

I Was Only Joking!

Can’t you take a joke? Well now, that all depends. If we follow up a rude or insulting comment with the phrase “I was only joking” does it not count to the person we said it to? Does the sting of the words vanish, having no lasting effect? Are we therefore innocent, somehow not responsible for the rubbish spewing forth from our mouths? We may have the right to free speech, but speech is not entirely free. There are always consequences for what we say, whether or not we realize our impact.

Aragorn's Speech at the Black Gate from The Lord of the Rings

As a parent, I am always aware of how my words will shape my children’s lives in various ways. If they hear me being critical and judgmental of someone, they will learn to criticize and judge. If I apologize when I am wrong, they will learn to apologize with sincerity. If I speak to the without courtesy and respect, they will do the same to each other and the world at large. I know this because I have seen it. If I yell at them (as opposed to handling a crisis calmly), within five minutes they will be hammering each other with the same lovely words they heard from mommy.

I don’t recall having a problem restraining myself before having children. As a mom of three, I hear myself saying all of the things I swore I would never say. I tell them lies (Santa, the tooth fairy, winning doesn’t matter ) and sometimes I hear the most absurd, words coming from my mouth, such as “get your finger out of your sisters ear right now” or “dog food isn’t for children.”

Choose With Care

Now, I understand that not everyone has the same constant challenge with this that I have. Being with my children 24/7 allows me little time to think or breath before I speak. I recognize that my tongue needs to be trained to handle the ups and downs of daily mothering with integrity.

But it is not. Not really. These are the words that I depend on daily."God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Cor. 9:8 (NIV)And the following words are those that inspire me. They represent the qualities I strive to achieve as a mother with my words and my actions. “Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, it rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Cor. 13:4Words can inspire us to greatness; they enable us to share our deepest feelings with one another. Words can change us as individuals. When used with care, they can change the world around us.Choose to use your words to encourage and uplift. Choose them with wisdom and love.It may not be easy all the time, or even some of the time, but it will, absolutely be worth the effort.

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    • Ben716 profile image

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 4 months ago from Kenya

      Nice article on why we need to watch out the words we speak. It is not easy but ut is possibke and if we ask of God to help us indeed He will help us. I have learned some jokes aren't at all good even if somebody was saying he was joking.

    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      I wrote a hub three years ago, called “The Cutting Words We Speak-Discerner Of Thoughts”

      In it I said the words we speak are “A discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts” because our words don't just say something about other people; they also say a lot about the person speaking the words. The words a person says to or about someone else shows the intentions and the thoughts of the person speaking the words more than they reveal about the other person. We can learn a lot about a person when we listen to what they say and how they say it.

      Of course our words can also reveal very nice things about us

      The fact is our words tell more about us than most may have realized, and is always a revealer of secrets and a discerner of intentions

    • profile image

      circlesofsusan 3 years ago

      This is a great hub! We can do a lot of damage with an unbridled tongue. Once the negative words come out, we can't take them back. It's like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube!

    • profile image

      Hareesh 3 years ago

      Amy, words seem to have such a great might and strength but in reality they are just like mute letters. It is us who make them so powerful with our reactions, positive or negative, both. Actually it is our mind that is a great player, it provokes us when we hear, read, think over some words. In a way, our mind manipulates us no end. It is only when we become master of it that we start to analyze words whether written or spoken in a proper way. When we learn about the mischief played by our mind, we indulge in a judicious use of words. I really enjoyed your beautifully written article, thanks.

    • mgt28 profile image

      mgt28 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this. I started on this forum yesterday, posted my first hub today. This to me is a good place to be.

    • BJC profile image

      BJC 5 years ago from Florida

      This is where I should have written about the words and thanks for the reminder :)

    • profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your delightful words. I am forever thankful to your graceful abundance of words.

    • profile image

      baby 5 years ago

      This is great! I am dealing with this right now--- I'm struggling right now on how to deal with some people who just loved to destroy people...they just love to talk without even realizing that what they're doing is destroying someone or probably it's the other way around. They do it intentionally to destroy someone! Words are indeed powerful!

    • profile image

      Brandon 5 years ago

      Check out my blog Words Have Power www.providingapath.blogspot.com

    • profile image

      Zack 5 years ago

      With you all the way on this.

    • profile image

      Adeshile Theophilus 5 years ago

      This hub is absolutely amazing...Your choice of words would determine your choice and extent of your success in life...I realize that, Nothing that is being uttered that doesn't count, every words count whether positively or negative but since we want to make this world a better place then our strive should gear towards positive and heart-healing words and not heart-breaking words! Soft words turns away wrath, harsh words stirs up anger!

      I'm a writer too...Please i need a motivational support! Thank You

    • profile image

      Fatema m jetpurwala 5 years ago

      good job i have really understood the meaning of saying right words on correct time thank you

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      vision12 5 years ago

      Amy Jane, I was desperately looking for information on how edit my words before they come out of my mouth. I should KNOW better. I do know better as a teacher (great with kids!) minister (great with the hurting) but when it comes to my poor husband he just got blasted last night by words that do all the negative things in your article. Does anyone here have a strategy on editing words before they come out of your mouth? I think one thing is slowing down. How about it? Thanks!

    • scubadoggy profile image

      scubadoggy 6 years ago

      This is a great hub, I've known about the power of our words for years, and it's great to see other people speaking about it... Awesome!

    • profile image

      Erwin Rodolfo the Philippine Immortal 6 years ago

      I'm Erwin Rodolfo the Philippine Immortal. I really believe in the power of Words. In fact I can destroy powerful storms of my spoken words. I can drive away powerful words of my words. I an stopped the heavy rains of my words. I can heal sickness of my words. That is the power of the spoken words. Kindly visit my profile at www.facebook.com ., my accounts are erwin_theimmortal3000@yahoo.com, erwin_theimmortal870@yahoo.com, erwin_theimmortal907@yahoo.com. Follow me in Twitter type immortalerwin. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Shelley 6 years ago

      I was looking for this quote after Arizona. Thank you.

    • FloBe profile image

      FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The saying from childhood, "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me," are SO VERY WRONG! Words are powerful to crush a soul, or lift a spirit. I agree that we need to use our words wisely to build each other up and encourage rather than tear down.

    • profile image

      Johanna Mante 6 years ago

      it is true that words can either make or break you.Most of the time i find some preachers using words that instill fear and even using cursing words to those who are unable to tithe.what happened to the grace of God for the poor.using words wrongly can destroy souls.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Shane, I'm glad you found this valuable. I think it starts with a thought too, although sometimes words seem to fly out of nowhere! It's still a challenge for me almost everyday - but I'm still trying.

      Thanks ajeet, wonderful words do have power, I agree!

    • profile image

      ajeet tomer 6 years ago

      it is true that power of words is realy works as a majicfull stick.i belivein this.and it is my belive that by using wonderful words we can solve any kind of problems.ajeet tomer.india.i am coming soon in front of world.

    • Shane Belceto profile image

      Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

      This is great and you are so right it comes right down to choices .. choosing what words we wish to speak or write ... so guess that all starts with a brief thought first ... hummm what came first the thought or the word? lol

      As a stay at home parent I too completely felt what you were saying in that section. Thank YOU for your honesty and wise words.

      ~Expect Miracles

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all so much! Dale, I'm flattered that you liked this hub enough to link to it from you blog. Many thanks! :)

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 7 years ago from Canada

      What a powerful hub. I enjoyed every word and it makes so much sense.

      I loved it so much the hub is now posted on my blog.

      The link to my blog can be found on my profile page near the bottom.

      Cheers

      Dale

    • profile image

      BIKTMIA 7 years ago

      Great post. Wow!

    • Habby profile image

      Habby 7 years ago from College Station, Texas

      Looks like you struck a nerve with this hub. It's so important, and one that I would do well to remember over and over again. Interestingly, I have been studying the book of James and have been challenged by his clear commands and vivid imagery. Thank you for writing this hub!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Ken. I wrote this a long time ago, but I still come back and read it myself sometimes, as a reminder of how I need to keep a careful watch over this mouth of mine. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Very well said, amy jane. I know you wrote it a long time ago but it is a topic & wisdom that is always relevant. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you k3black and Innovator! I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. :)

    • profile image

      Innovator820 8 years ago

      I enjoyed it so much! Very honest piece of writing.

    • k3black profile image

      k3black 8 years ago from India

      gr8 work

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you efa_09!

    • efa_09 profile image

      efa_09 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very expressive! The content is meaningful.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all for the encouraging words! I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. :)

    • Williamjordan profile image

      Williamjordan 8 years ago from Houston TX

      Great work thanks foe mentionong Middle Earth it's a great place to visit,and the words have power.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      This page is beautifully done and stocked with much needed content. Thank you for sharing your powerful words.

    • santoion profile image

      santoion 8 years ago

      I believe that YOU are Great !

    • apeksha profile image

      apeksha 8 years ago from India.

      nice hub..

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Glad you liked it London Girl!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      This is a wonderful hub, thanks very much!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks roastedpinebark!

    • roastedpinebark profile image

      roastedpinebark 8 years ago from Iowa

      i totally hear you, words make a huge affect sometimes

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Claudia! I'm a bit of an introvert and I often don't say what I need to say. Then it all builds up and starts exploding out of my mouth and I am left wondering what I just said! I work on this constantly, really. I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub - thanks for reading.

    • ClaudiaP profile image

      ClaudiaP 8 years ago from California

      Great hub! I'm an extrovert and many times (unfortunately) words come out of my mouth before I realize what I am saying. I'm aware of my mistakes (and God know I made many by mouth!) and I am working on cutting down negative comments and criticism. Your hub brought a new reminder and motivation to me.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you so much, BizzyMuse. It is such an important topic. Learning to use our words carefully can require a great deal of focus! So often I still "slip..." Thank you for reading!

    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 8 years ago from Southern California

      Amy - This is both insightful and beautifully written. I am so glad I ran across it today. It's such an interesting topic as words can tear a person to shreds or build them up to do great things. I try to be aware of the power of my words (and actions) each day - and I thank you for the reminder. I look forward to reading more of your hubs!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Kevin, I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub...thank you for adding your words here as well! :)

    • kevinlt9 profile image

      kevinlt9 8 years ago from Gwynn Oak,Maryland

      Wow Amy you are so right the words we speck dictate the life's we lead,effective communication is the most important skill we as human beings can master.Thank you for a great hub.

      "Words are,of course

      the most powerful drug used by mankind" (Rudyard Kipling-1865-1936)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Beth, thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

      Hi Christoph, you're right - attitudes and body language speak as loud as our words. I also agree that it's sad to see communication skills getting worse rather than better. So glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for adding your point of view. :)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Hello Amy. You are so right. The words we use reveal the person we are. There are also inflections, attitudes, body language, that refine the meanings of words and their intent. The english language is full of nuance, and I get depressed with the rising loss of language and communication skills. Put together in a spiteful, hateful way, they can do irreparable harm. Put together in a caring way and they can lift our spirits. Thanks for the great hub! Cheers!

    • betherickson profile image

      betherickson 8 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Amy. Those are inspiring words you have written here. I'm giving you a thumbs up. I love your hub. Very inspirational. :) keep it up.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Custodian Joe. I agree with what you have said as well. Words can hurt so deeply that an apology cannot really makeup for them. Harsh words have the power to effect a persons decisions and feelings about themselves for a lifetime.

    • profile image

      Custodian Joe 9 years ago

       Hi.  I do agree with all I've read on this page and would like to add. When I listen to others speak there are times the words that are chosen remind me of the word accident. I have a problem with this word, I don't believe in its wide spread use and acceptanceand, then followed by I'm sorry. Words missused can hurt as much as a car crash at sixty miles on hours however, With one its much easier to see the damage incurred.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks so much Eric, you are such a gentleman! :)

      Hi Bob, I agree that "I was only joking" is an insult. Too many people don't realize that, or the harm they are doing by using it. Thanks for commenting. :)

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Words are very pwoeful and we meed to exercise care when using them. The phrase i was only joking is almost as insulting as the insult it is meant to erase.

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 9 years ago from Australia

      Hi Amy Jane.

      Lovely to see you back here.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Raina and Epictruth! :)

    • raina profile image

      raina 9 years ago

      words are the powers!! great hub.

    • epictruth profile image

      epictruth 9 years ago from Frisco

      Great hub! Words are definitely powerful. Your newest fan!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Derek! They movie clips are two of my favorites. Maya Angelou always takes great care in choosing her words. I love to hear her speak. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      derekcaulfield 9 years ago

      cool videos, great hub and the messgae is so true and clear . Words are powerful!!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      You're welcome, Andrew. Understanding the power of words is essential! Thanks for reading.

    • Andrew0208 profile image

      Andrew0208 9 years ago from Zion

      It's interesting to be conscious of the power of our words. We are really products of the spoken word. Life and Death are in the power of the tongue! It's quite inspiring, thanks for sharing.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      You are very welcome, Tatyana. The power of words with children cannot be underestimated! They need genuine encouragement and loving words on a daily basis, in my opinion. Words really can shape their perception of themselves and the world around them.

    • reversefunnelsyst profile image

      reversefunnelsyst 9 years ago from Nashville

      Dear Amy

      You are so right about the words and how they can inluence people around us.

      I love that you brought the verses from the Bible! I am a mom of two wonderful boys and the words we say to them can shape their future.

      Thank you for doing it!

      Tatyana Gann

    • profile image

      Ken Chan 9 years ago

      The power of yourself

      is just like a mouth

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Dayzeebee, Aren't children amazing little mirrors? They can always help us see what we need to work on. I definitely think that training ourselves to use our words positively is worth every struggle! The rewards are tremendous. :)

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Beautiful hub Amy. I too had to tame my tongue when I started training kids. Now I conciously practice "restating thoughts" to present things in a more positive note.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      You are very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it. We all need a reminder every now and then! Thanks for reading. :)

    • abowie profile image

      abowie 9 years ago from San Francisco

      I think people forget just how much words can hurt someone. Especially the ones we love most. Thanks for reminding me to say something nice to someone I love today.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      jezzbb, I wish I could put my mouth on autopilot! Life brings some pretty big challenges sometimes and it can be a constant struggle to keep our words in check. I just keep one trying to do my best. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • donnaleemason profile image

      donnaleemason 9 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      I try and sometimes I cringe when I hear what comes out of my mouth, it is an ongoing battle to curb my tongue all the time. some days I win the battle and somedays I don't.

      Great hub.

    • jezzbb profile image

      Jess Ba-ad 9 years ago from Philippines

      Amidst our stressful lives, we sometimes cannot avoid ill words coming out of our mouths. I'll put this hub in mind so that my mouth will be on 'auto pilot' to say positive words or keep quiet instead of negative words. Thanks.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I am happy to hear that you were inspired by this hub. Thank you for adding your perspective. :)

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      Amy Jane eceryone else has already said what i would like to have said. Your words are an inspiration for the creation of more great hubs. The implicit words of caution are so wise and insightful and the implication that you should say what you like but stand by your words (I was only joking) are immeasurably good advice.

      Great Hub

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      HI sk8the, thank you so much, I am glad you enjoyed this! Learning to "watch your mouth" and all that comes out of it can be a huge undertaking. Understand the power of words to effect your life is the first step. I am still working on using my words for good every day. :) Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • sk8the profile image

      sk8the 9 years ago from philippines

      this is the firs time i visited your hub, and it was very informative, the power of words are really powerful it influences everything about having friends and having enemies.

      thank you very much for the info, this is another lesson to me to really watch what i spit out of my mouth. i'm looking forward to reading your hubs, I WILL DEFINITELY BE COMING BACK FOR MORE .

      have a NICE DAY

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Creativita,

      You are welcome! I am so glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the link David, and also thank you for mentioning this on your hub. Always appreciated! :)

    • 516Ads profile image

      516Ads 9 years ago from Long Island

      Amy, an absolutely wonderful site with encouraging words is MotivateUs.com ... It's free ... keep up the excellent HUBBING. - David

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Sandilyn, I agree, kindness comes back to you! Thank you for reading and leaving your insight into the topic. Pausing and thinking is the best route to take most of the time, but I think it takes a good amount of self control and it may be more difficult to achieve for some people. It is certainly a great goal to set for ourselves!

    • Sandilyn profile image

      Sandilyn 9 years ago from Port Orange, FL

      Good hub! We all need to consider our words before they come out of our mouths.

      When I have something importnant to say I go over it in my mind first. Planning how and what I am going to say. Keeping in mind who I am talking to and the subject at hand.

      If I am upset, I wait. I calm down. Rushing and spurting off is to be held back. This takes time to learn but as a parent I have tried to instill it in my son. I always remember to say thank you and please.

      Kind words go a long way. Think before you speak. Hatred and meaness brings you nothing but hatred! Kindess is repaid.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks David, for the encouraging words! :) I have hated that sticks and stones phrase since childhood! It makes a kid think that they are wrong for feeling pain from someone's words. It doesn't make anyone feel better. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)

    • 516Ads profile image

      516Ads 9 years ago from Long Island

      Amy Jane,

      I saw you posted, so of course I wanted to see what you had to say. I agree that words are very powerful.

      Actually one of the more popular verses, often repeated, is WRONG!!!

      Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.

      Well, they may not break your bones, but are capable of cutting you up on the inside leaving everlasting scars....... or inspire you to go on and accomplish great things.  Yes, Words are powerful. - David

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks aquariancore! I am so glad you are enjoying my hubs. I took a chance with this one, and truly did not expect it to be so well received! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • aquariancore profile image

      aquariancore 9 years ago

      Amy I only just discovered your work a day ago and I am becoming a fan. I love your insight and perspective on this piece.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Patkagmak, thank you for adding your thoughts and words here! Every word we speak has lasting power and creative power. I wandered around for a long time not knowing this! I am glad you enjoyed this hub, thanks so much for reading! :)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks uninvited writer!

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Excellent hub :)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Trish, thanks so much for the insightful comment. As a parent, learning to think before I speak is a major goal, and one that is not always easily achieved. I am glad to hear that it has worked so well for you. I think this is probably the approach my own father has taken with me (and my siblings). He never questions us about our choices but he knows that if we have a problem we will consult him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Hi Amy,

      This hub brings to mind how I handle discussions with my children.  They are both in their 30s, and will at times find themselves in situations that they are unsure of how to deal with, or sometimes, throw something out at me and ask my opinion.  I've learned how to communicate my thoughts to them in a way that isn't judgemental or hurtful.  Everyone responds differently to the spoken word, and I know my children well enough to know that an accusatory or hateful response would only elicit the same.  My daughter and I tend to be sensitive, and my son on the other hand leans more toward silence or anger.  Therefore, I take my time, edit what I'm thinking BEFORE speaking, then relay it to them.  It works every time.  It's the very rare occasion that I yell, curse, scream something at them.  That behavior only serves to drive a wedge between you and the person you're trying to help.  I've also made it a point to NOT pry into their thoughts, and have learned that this is good too, because 99% of the time, if there is a problem they need help with, they do come to me for advice, more readily than if I were to keep asking what's wrong?  I've learned they will open up to me in their own time and in their own way.

      Thanks for sharing,

      Trish

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Christine! i agree that the comments here are so interesting and really add to the overall understanding of the topic! I. like Marisue dislike arguing and comfrontation in general, because it only seems to fuel the fire of the emotions between two people. I always try to wait a little while and let my own emotions settle down. It is simply the idea of thinking before you speak, and not speaking straight from your emotios all the time. There are so many opportunities in life when we know what the right thing to say is, yet we say what we want to say, or feel like saying.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and please feel free to share any further insights!

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      christinekv 9 years ago from Washington

      Wow, great topic to write on - well done Amy Jane! I'm also really impressed by so many of the comments contributed....I had a few thoughts to share, but they've already been expressed through Peter Lopez, Patty English, the last one from Gaida R (about 1 mouth and 2 eyes and ears - love the Proverbs verses she included too). I like Marisue, despise arguing (or debating) and agree w/ her comment about how engaging in it doesn't leave one feeling better.

      Someone else also referenced something biblical about what's in the heart flows out the mouth.....sometimes we just need to check our emotions instead of being impulsive in our reactions. If we exercise self control (which as I believe you said, sometimes that's no fun, but is the wiser choice!) take time to analyze the situation or pray about it prior to responding, that's to everyone's benefit.

      I love your use of scripture to illustrate your points as well. I'm going to have to consult the Lord and see what he reveals to me regarding the "taming the tongue" scripture in correlation to a bit in a horses mouth and the practice of Liberty.....thinking there has to be a relationship message which includes maturity, in connection w/ the freedom He provides us.

      Blessings to you Amy Jane!

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Gaida R, thank you so much for stumbling this hub! :) I really appreciate it. I wish you lots of luck with your teen - they sure know how to get you to say what you try to hold back. Although my kids are younger, my oldest really knows how to get to me already and she seems to think it is fun to see how far she can push me. I just keep trying to remind myself that I am the grown up and have tp keep my cool. :) It doesn't always work, of course...

      Thanks again!

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Michelle, I really hope that you do expand on this topic and I would love to link to it! I would love to read your perspective about the power of words and the effects on children. The way we speak to children really shapes who they become, and I think it is something that parents need to take very seriously.

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      GaidaR 9 years ago from Australia

      Hi Amy Jane,

      Enjoyed your article I gave it a 'Stumble' and was the first stumbler to 'discover' you....(my i.d. egold)  Must remember to hold my tongue next time my teenager starts pushing my buttons! And knows which ones to push & push!

      I'm sure I've read it somewhere... hurtful words we speak is why we were given one mouth & 2 eyes.  Just imagine the havoc if it was the other way round.

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      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Yes, amy jane. This topic is very close to my heart. I have experienced being on the receiving end of some pretty tough and hurtful words as a child. And so I know its ill effects pretty well. And I vowed to myself to make a difference in the lives of the children under our care. Hmmm...I may have an idea to expand this topic. And I will surely link this one to mine. Thanks again. :)

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Michelle, thanks for adding your comment and welcome back! As a ripplemaker I am sure you have contemplated this topic often. :)

      Glad you stopped in again, Marisue. I agree that we need the reminder each morning - I would need it before I got out of bed! I have seen some quotes and prayers that would help for an inspiring start in the morning - I will go find them and post them later today. :)

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      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      I was just re-reading...I think a person should have some kind of reminder they read about words, as they begin each day. Uplifting others is so important, and the extra benefit is you feel better too!!

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      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Beautiful hub amy jane. Indeed if we are aware of just how powerful our words are ..that it can uplift or hurt another, we would be extra careful of what we say. May we learn to dispense words wisely. God bless :)

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you for adding those proverbs, they are so true, GaidaR.

      And I agree, we speak often to those closest to us in a way that would drive our friends away quickly. Respect often goes out the window. :) Definitely something more to be aware of. Thanks so much for the insightful comment. :)