Can Words Really Hurt Us?

words can really hurt usYears ago, I realized that words can really hurt us.

Like many, I had grown up hearing the old adage: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

Then I realized how untrue that saying is!

I just heard myself say again, “Come on, you piece of **** stupid machine. Move faster! I don’t have all day. Grrrrrrrrrr.”

Guess what? The computer didn’t move faster. It did what it does: It moved at its own pace, not mine.

Was the computer upset that I talked loudly at it?

Doubtful. It’s a machine, for heaven’s sake.

Was I upset?

Yup. The more I railed at it, the more upset I got.

Were my dogs upset? Yup. They heard the tone of voice and cowered a little in their crate.

Oh yeah. That made me feel soooooooo good.

Why is it that we whip ourselves into a frenzy over small things that don’t matter? We use words like “the worst,” “the most awful,” or “completely unacceptable” for issues that should barely merit our notice.

And those words just make us even angrier. 

Our animals respond with fear. Our potted plants practically droop in their pots. Clouds cover the sun.

All for what?

Over small things that have the ability to drive us nuts — because we let them. We characterize them as the worst, the most awful, the totally unacceptable — and our brains go haywire. Our hearts beat faster. Our blood pressure rises.

We do it to ourselves. We make ourselves crazy. 

Let’s choose a different path, shall we?

Let’s choose to hear ourselves and decide to make the changes that keep us (mostly) on an even keel.

Let’s check the words we use and make sure they aren’t driving us up the proverbial wall, all for naught.

We can bring ourselves back from the cliff’s edge. We can acknowledge we’re a little overheated over nothing. We can decide to laugh.

Because — after all:

language choices