Creating Healthy Environments: Why Words Matter
Remember the nursery rhyme that we used to fend off cutting remarks: “stick and stones will break my bones yet words will never hurt me” Yet words can and do hurt. Words have a great potency to wound but also to heal.
We can use language to heal and energises ourselves and heal and energise people around us. We create the environment within ourselves and we contribute to the emotional and psychological environment around us.
We can also use language to create systematic doubt in ourselves and in others. We can use language to attack, defile, ridicule and in doing so, destroy our own self-value and that of others. Our inner voice is as important as what we say out loud. Often we allow this to run on automatic pilot, and not consider its impact. Think about that. One of the most insidious impacts of negative self- talk and negative talk AKA gossip: is that it undermines your own self value and someone else’s reputation.
We learnt all about the power of words when we were growing up and our self-value is influenced mostly by authority figures and the people who are responsible for our safety, education and well-being, such as our parents and teachers. Careless and callous comments such as “you are not trying hard enough”, “you are not as clever as your brother” can seed in a young mind and configure the default programing. This remains dormant and maybe triggered by situations, comments and comparisons which take the person back to the emotions of the original event even though the current circumstances may be very different to the original event.