CAN I  HAVE A WORD WITH YOU!

“Can I have a word with you ?” Or “We need to talk” or “I have something to say to you”, these are the statements that invoke a discomfort in me, making me think of all the wrongs or mistakes I did in the last ten years, seriously, I get wary of the person and am on my guard instantly, ready to defend myself, even if I know that I have been good to him/her. Such is the power of words, they have an instantaneous effect on us, changing our whole outlook and reaction to the situation. 

I was a lazy kid, notorious, and used to do many things that would amaze and surprise my parents, both pleasantly and unpleasantly, and every time I would get a scolding from my mother. One time I called a aunt of mine ugly to her face, she made a racquet of my silly mistake(yeah, silly, she was ugly and I was just nine), she told everyone and mum scolded me, “you have no sense, no respect for elders, no manners, you are being rotten by your father”, I would listen to all her words, but the minute she mentioned my father spoiling me, I will shout back and retaliate ending up getting more scolded and often papa would come to my aid, which would result in them having a roaring fight over my upbringing, while I would be sitting in a corner totally forgotten, watching them fight. I often wondered why papa handled me like a piece of cake while my mother thought I was a untamed rogue, and one day I realized its only Words. On my same mistake my father would say “I will support my girl, but you shouldn’t have done it my darling, haven’t I taught you to respect your elders ? Will you let people say that I haven’t given any manners to my only daughter, will you let papa down ?”, and never again in my life, I would repeat the mistake. In a way he said the same thing, but he rephrased it, adding compassion to his words, he made me feel I am not being opposed or suppressed, but I am being guided, and it became my aim never to disappoint him again.

I was so annoyed at a junior one day and I told him “you are the most stupid person on the face of this Earth”, his face lost color as he heard them, he hung his head and went away without saying a single thing to me, leaving me standing there feeling utterly cruel and heartless, but I learned from this experience and the next time I was furious on a girl who had made numerous mistakes, I told “this is the most stupid thing you have ever done”, and she smiled sheepishly, said a polite sorry and told me she will do it the right way. I called them both stupid (I know I know, I am short tempered), yet the girl was pleased while the boy never talked to me again, this is the power of words, I made the boy feel worthless and he lost heart, and went away feeling humiliated, while the girl was happy that she hasn’t been stupid before at least (oh come on, she spilled ink on my days work) and decided to make amends.

“Words have power. Words are power. Words could be your power”, said Mohammad Qahtani, who won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. 26 alphabets to play with, and the power to play with them in our hands, we can make them MAGIC or TRAGIC, we can make them BITTER or BETTER. 

Bless your words !

 

THE POWER OF WORDS

It was a cold December evening. I was lying down on my bed with the fever. I was feeling cold and very uncomfortable when my wife covered me with a thick blanket and gave me hot water bag to keep inside the blanket. After some time I felt warm and much better. I realized how important is warmth to our body. It made me feel so comfortable.

My mind just took me to think about the words we speak. The word has power and it never comes back to us void. I always give the instance of my former boss who used to tell me one thing, “Chiradeep, think ten times before you speak out; because once the words are out cannot be taken back and each word works either in a positive or negative ways…”

The question arises here is what can be the effects of the words that we speak? Have we ever thought about it? I had to brainstorm a bit to get to the answer to this question.

Effects of Our Words

Comforts & Heals: I know a doctor who owns a hospital in Cuttack. The patients of that hospital say that when doctor sahib speaks to us we get cured and feel warm even before the treatment starts. 

The old Hebrew Proverbs say that – “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.”

How beautiful will it be when we speak and people get healed and comforted? But usually, it doesn’t happen.

Hurts & Kills Emotions: Have you heard of a phrase “character assassination?” That’s possible only through our powerful words when we gossip about a person behind him or her. Words of discouragement, defaming, accusing can hurt the person at the receiving end.   

I am very sensitive to the words that are used for me or what I have done. It affects me a lot. I feel troubled. I get hurt. Sometimes I have seen people pretend not to be affected by the hurtful words of others but I am sure they would be definitely thinking about the words used to them when they are all alone with themselves.

If words have the power to stimulate, stir our emotions of love, lust, desires then it has the power to hurt and kill our emotions and enthusiasm to a very greater extent.

Regulates Anger: Another proverb that says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We all know when a husband is angry and wife speaks gently to him instead of his hurtful words, his anger calms down seeing her behavior towards him. So many times I had felt guilty of shouting on somebody in anger when he or she responded to me gently. Similarly, we get angry when we hear harsh words from the other party.

So it is necessary to remember that our words that we speak can make somebody angry or calms him/her down because word regulates the emotion of anger.

Changes Perceptions: An article ‘Words Have Power’ by Jack Schafer on Psychology Today explains: “Words cannot change reality, but they can change how people perceive reality. Words create filters through which people view the world around them. A single word can make the difference between liking a person and disliking that person.”

If we characterize somebody with our words then a tag get attached to that person and people’s perception get set accordingly for that particular person.

For example, when somebody says about a woman that “She is a bitch” the people around get a picture about that particular woman. But when somebody else really tries to know her personally and finds her good then his or her old perception about that woman will change definitely.

So we need to be careful when we judge and give different names to other persons knowing only a few facts about them.  

Stirs up Dissension: I always think if we all can think ten times before we say something then we could stop many possible fatal incidences. There are many occasions where words have been destructive and have stirred up riots. The history says that the big riots have been stirred up just from small arguments between two friends. These days it’s very common when people share words of hate or hate speeches through Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitters etc.

Affects Mind Negatively: Another article that I was reading on Psychology Today where it says, “If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say “NO,” more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain but in the listener’s brain as well. The listener will experience increased anxiety and irritability, thus undermining cooperation and trust.” I felt extremely guilty reading this. So many times I had said, “NO” to many people in anger or denied people of something and by doing so I must have affected mine as well as my listener’s mind negatively. I might resolve that I will respond with positive affirmations henceforth. But when I read the article further I found some worrisome facts which I am quoting here as well.     

“When doctors and therapists teach patients to turn negative thoughts and worries into positive affirmations, the communication process improves and the patient regains self-control and confidence. But there’s a problem: the brain barely responds to our positive words and thoughts. They’re not a threat to our survival, so the brain doesn’t need to respond as rapidly as it does to negative thoughts and words.”

Now we can understand how important it is for us to speak positively.

In my life, I take pride in the fact that, I am very good at talking, putting my messages across and motivating someone I talk to but I am scared of one thing when I think of this quote: “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.” This makes me question myself: ‘Does my mouth talk sense?’ ‘Do I utter prudent words all the time?’ ‘Do my lips promote instructions?’

A wise king says, “sin is not absent in many words…” That alarms me and makes me think… Am I  not committing any sin with the words, ‘the many words’ I use? 

Let’s consider and be mindful of what words we utter for others… Do we add values when we speak out or cast shadows? How can the stream water be sweet and bitter both?

Keep thinking as we discuss this throughout the week.

Stay Blessed!!!