Critical Awareness and the Power of Words

It’s been on my heart to let this out into the internet-wild: Please be careful with your words. 

I know, especially on the internet where lives can be anonymous and careless and free, this can be difficult.  However, can’t we all remember that one thing a peer or role-model said to us one time, even years ago?

All it takes is one comment.  It takes one remark, good or bad, and sometimes the imprint is burned into our minds years after the conversation took place.  Often, the most memorable are negative.  Years later, a thoughtless comment renders horrible shame and doubt – even when we know [logically, anyway] that the words said had no real reflection on reality.

It feels equally horrible to be on either side of the ordeal.

I wish this was a more positive post, maybe something encouraging about the power of words lifting people and encouraging the person next to you.  I believe with all my heart that is true and important.

Unfortunately, I feel like what we struggle with most is reacting during those heated emotional moments.  Believe me, I know how difficult those moments can be and how anger can trip a fuse upstairs that makes everything seem justified.  However, relationships can be destroyed in those few seconds, or over a multitude of them over time. Helpful resource: [Crucial Conversations]

Here’s my philosophy regarding relationships, disagreements, and our choice of words:

If you get to say whatever you want during emotional distress, that destroys trust.

Why? Because you’re putting your own needs over the person you’re talking to.

You’re in pain, so in order to try to “save yourself” or displace your pain, you attempt to transfer it to the other person by saying mean, nasty, sometimes completely false accusations, etc etc.

Then, when the time comes where honesty and trust are paramount to the desired outcome, you have neither.  Possibly because, you cannot be trusted to say what is true and just, especially when it’s needed the most.  All that lashing-out has shown is selfishness and insecurity.

As you can see, this can get into quite a discussion, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What I’m really hoping to leave you with today, is critical awareness.  I’d love if we could all embrace the power of our words and use them to support and encourage others, including our-self. Helpful resource: [What to Say When You Talk to Yourself]

Your completely-random-perfect-#MondayMotivation-al-video:

Thanks for reading,

Ashley

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