|They say words have power…|
Words have power. You can get metaphysical, spiritual, or just commonsensical with it. When you tell yourself you will do something, you usually do it. When you say, “I think I’m getting sick” you usually end up sneezing within the hour. Words carry the ability to shape your world. We let what people say shape our opinions of the world around us and often our opinions of who we really are.
Words Have Power
If someone says to you “You are getting fat”. You start sucking in your stomach and skipping dessert. If someone says, “You look good in that color” you go buy five dresses, a scarf, and two pairs of shoes in the same color. I recall one time being completely frustrated, annoyed and caught in the rain. I had my scarf wrapped round my head and shoulders and a pair of huge sunglasses hiding myself from the crowd of people. I felt awful and knew I looked horrible. UNTIL…I passed a young woman who whispered to her mate, “OMG! She looks fabulous”. Miraculously, I felt fabulous and morphed from soggy to sassy. THEY say words have power. And as always when “They” say something I usually have something to say back.
If words have power then why do the words, “I’m Sorry”, rarely produce the desired result. When it comes to apologies most of us migrate to Missouri…Show Me! rather than accepting the words that have been offered. A friend can say something relatively benign that has the power to hurt your heart for years, but five minutes later when they say something else…”I’m sorry” the words are completely powerless to make you feel better.
If words alone have power then why are the two words “YOU WITCH” so much more effective at generating emotion than “I’M SORRY”. Are harmful words more powerful than kind ones? That depends on how you feel about yourself.
The reason an apology is not as powerful as a verbal assault is because we do not believe it, but we do often believe the hurtful words that are thrown at us by others. When that young woman whispered “She looks fabulous” it reignited a thought I already had about myself inside of me. I believed her because I deeply believed I was fabulous, even as a soggy mess. Her words confirmed to me that my fabulous self was shining through the mess.
The Truth Hurts
The actual power is not in the words. It is in our belief of those words. This is why truth is so powerful. We believe it. Words get their power from inside of us – like almost everything else in the world around us. Apologies are not very powerful because there is something inside of us that believes them not to be true – we believe the person meant what they said and we secretly may believe that had reason to say it. The next time someone says “I’m Sorry” ask yourself if you believe it. If you don’t, then ask yourself “why not?”
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