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The Power of Words: Think Before You Speak

What if today were the last day of your life, you had a few minutes left on the planet, and only one phone call to make? Who would you reach out to? What would you say?

Would you be kind and loving or critical and judgmental? Would you be sarcastic and hostile or sincere and nurturing? Would you be angry and hateful or warm and gracious?

Would you be impatient and snippy or calm and compassionate? Would you be abrupt and condescending or empathetic and understanding? Would you be stern and grumpy or pleasant and courteous?

Do you reflect on whether your words might elicit pain or pleasure? Do you contemplate what you’d experience hearing a particular remark?  

Although actions speak louder than words, what you utter and how you express it can be extremely powerful. The tone of voice in which you impart a declaration is especially influential.

Statements can make or break a meaningful tete a tete; begin or end a lucrative business deal; start or finish a romantic tryst; foster or destroy a valuable friendship.

The three magic words, “I Love You,” have such an impact, that some single people are terrified to ever let them leave their lips.

Another highly significant phrase, “I’m sorry,” is equally potent. Without it couples, besties, family members, and even nations could remain warring, ad infinitum.

Words of hope can heal an illness or transform a ‘doom and gloom’ frame of mind. Disapproving, disparaging and derogatory comments can instill low esteem for your entire existence. An off the cuff, flippant aside can cause long term detrimental consequences. 

Mull over unfiltered, unintentionally biased and prejudicial pronouncements by celebrities that produce a public frenzy, ruining a high profile figure’s reputation forever.

Recent research indicates verbal abuse is more deadly than physical. While black and blue wounds eventually disappear, damage from demeaning language lasts a lifetime. It penetrates your core, clear to the bone, injuring your mental and emotional well being for eternity.

You might attempt to put up a strong exterior, pretending you can “take it like a man” or that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Yet this is farther from the truth and recognizable laws of human nature.

It’s a natural instinct to want the approval of close confidantes and cohorts. Therefore, hurtful speech from those you care about can readily prompt traumatic results, injuring your essence.

Deliberate on how you might react if similar terminology was conveyed to you. Would you sense a dagger to your heart? Remember that what you say to a loved one stays with them, deeply affecting their self image.  

There is never a justification for putting someone down, even when provoked. Stabbing an associate in the back, or front for that matter, will only obliterate any possibility for a truce or reconciliation.

Once the cat’s out of the bag, the devastation takes its course and even imploring apologies won’t reverse the harm. Words echo in your brain and infiltrate your spirit in perpetuity.

Therefore, when you feel ire rising, consider walking or jogging until it passes, counting to twenty, scheduling a discussion for a future more relaxed moment. Afterwards, you’re less likely to release vengeful vocabulary that can’t be taken back.

Contemplate following the age old axiom “If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all.”

Ponder Psalm 19: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”   

If a relationship is significant, it behooves you to use kind, benign lingo and leave the negativity to yourself, a therapist, a different sounding board, or your private journal.

You never know if this will be the last thing you communicate or the final item heard by the recipient. Hence, you may choose to check your language at the door.

This holiday season, disregard the false importance of finding the perfect material present for your sweetheart, bff, or cherished relative. Instead, use this opportunity to reveal how much you appreciate, admire, and adore them…the greatest gift you can give and receive.

Singles Slogan for the Week: “Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” (Margaret Thatcher)

Practice benevolence and courtesy with all the wonderful singles you’ll encounter at Jeff Rector’s Winter Wonderland Soiree on Saturday December 8th at his home in Sherman Oaks.  For address and details, email me at mnm2226@aol.com.

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