Power of words

Power of words

There is an old saying that goes:

“Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you”

But like a number of old sayings this is simply not true. There is actually much more truth in the line from one of Dolly Parton’s songs that goes like this:

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can break my heart”.

The truth is that words have real power.

The words we use shape how we feel about a situation and they influence the intensity of emotion we attach to that situation.

For example, take a situation where something has happened and you start to feel angry about it. If you say something like: “I am absolutely furious about this, it’s totally unacceptable, in fact I am livid, I simply won’t tolerate it.” The emotion of anger inside you will build in intensity of feeling to match the words you are using and create an atmosphere of high tension around you.

However if you take the exact same situation and the same initial feeling of anger and say something like: “Oh bother that’s a bit inconvenient, I feel a little peeved about this.” Words like these will reduce your emotional intensity and taking the heat out of the situation. This will cause your feeling of anger to subside and reduce the tension in the atmosphere around you. (You might even get a laugh which will further defuse the situation).

Here is the key truth:
You have the power to direct and control the intensity of your feelings by the words you use to describe them.  By controlling the intensity of your feelings you will impact the atmosphere you create around you, which will in turn influence the response and reactions you get from other people.

This is very powerful, so learn to use this power wisely.

One Response to “ “Power of words”

  1. Sherryl says:

    Really great thoughts! Thanks Lindsay

Leave a Reply