Watch The Words You Use

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Words have power.

I will be the first to tell you that “words don’t have meaning. Meaning is in meaning.” I believe this because of my studies in human communication. I know that words, in essence, only trigger information in the minds of others and that’s why we have dictionaries. Our minds all hold different meanings to words so an external source of meanings allows for practical,  fluid communication. But I digress. Words have no meaning.

However, because words act as triggers, they are extremely powerful. The meanings the words trigger can be great in the mind of the receiver and that meaning can, and often times is, greater than the intent. People can, do and will attach memories and emotions to a word. You may be using a word freely in good faith and yet be conjuring up some really bad stuff. You could be tapping into something extremely painful and not even know it. That is why I say watch the words you use. I mean it literally. Watch what you say.

When you talk to your significant other, be aware of the nonverbal and nonword responses you receive to the things you say. Contortions of the face, grunts, moans, giggles, etc. are all clues to the hidden meanings being triggered by the words you are using in conversation.

If consistent usage of a word or phrase brings about the same or similar responses, then take mental note of that. If the meaning isn’t clear, ask about it. Discussing what a word means to your partner can be an eye opening experience. It is important to understand what your word usage is doing to your partner and if it is something painful, stop. On the flip side, you may discover that certain words cause him/her joy and you can pepper your speech with it adding happiness to every sentence you utter.

The most important thing in watching what you say is being able to adjust to the other person’s reality. There are things that you say that seem harmless to you and yet, cause the other person grief. You may feel inclined to continue to use these words because your intent is not to cause pain. But you must accept the fact that despite your intent, you are causing pain and you must choose to stop.

The beautiful thing about words not having meaning is that at any given time, you can choose to use a different word as a trigger for your good intent. And if you can't find a good word, you can manipulate another word or you can make a word up. You can still express your good intent while avoiding the words that cause your significant other pain.

Words have power. So watch what you say.

Remember. No always. No never.

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