Psychology

How Words Hurt



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HOW WORDS HURT

I've heard that "the pen is mightier than the sword," but unkind words pierce the soul and leave scars upon the heart. We have all done it- spoken without thinking and hurt a person's feelings. Many times it's our ego doing the talking, and the results can be disastrous. Words are powerful. We can use them to create a positive impact on a person's life or destroy with criticism and hate.

I love words. There is so many wonderful words in the English language.
That's why I love writing.. Putting together thoughts and emotions through the use of beautiful words. It's like cooking- so many ingredients to choose from, infinite possibilities. Why would anyone put foul things in their creations? Why would anyone throw repulsive words at another human being?

Sometimes it stems from ignorance. We hear our parents or other adults talking, making derogatory statements about people of other races, religions, nationalities, and life-styles and our young minds imprint these words as being "acceptable." So as children we try them out. We're being "grown up" by calling others fatty, stupid, fairy and others that slur a person's race or culture, which I don't even like to put on paper. A friend of mine told an ignorant racial joke in front of her 10 year old daughter, who repeated to me when we were driving alone in my car. I didn't laugh or say anything. She said, "That's really not very nice, is it Aunt Kathy?' "No," I said. "Anything that would hurt some one's feelings isn't really very funny." I was so glad to have the opportunity to voice my feelings, without directly criticizing her mother.

Negativity is so easy to give in to. Once we start finding fault it's endless. To find the positive in imperfect human beings can be hard work. It's so much more productive to compensate for each others shortcomings and revel in the good qualities people possess. Even if we're thinking "What a jerk," we don't have to put it into words that we will regret later. Instead, using words of praise for the good that lies within, will encourage a person to be less of a jerk than by using cruel words, no matter how true they may be.

Hurtful words are often used by those who are suffering so much that they lash out at some one to make themselves feel better. It's due to their own low self-esteem. Trying to build up their own ego they spit poison but wind up poisoning their own hearts. How sad it is to see these people caught in this cycle of self-destruction. When in the midst of their critical tirades, they even seem very large and intimidating, but the reality is they're very small and weak. Like standing up to a bully, when a person refuses to be affected by the hurtful words they use, they are easily disarmed and slink away deflated. Responding in kind adds fuel to the fire and can escalate even to the point of violence.

In this age where more people are seeking spiritual fulfillment, let's start by deleting words that hurt from our vocabulary. Let's celebrate the diversity of humanity with beautiful words of praise and appreciation. If we seek the good it becomes our reality.

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More about this author: Kathleen Delicato

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