When You Wish You Had Not Uttered Those Words.
Last week I happened to be in a formal meeting. At some point I lost my tract and uttered some words while giving in my input, not out of anger or anything to do with displeasure, but in trying to air out my thoughts as plainly as possible. Then later that evening I was disturbed by the recurring words and what impact they could have had on those in the seating. I kept wondering about how I get to put out my words and how later they come to disturb my mind afresh.
I am not sure if I suffer from some form of cryptomnesia or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) because I sometimes wonder if I behave in some manner without regards of the consequences that may cause to me or those I interact with; a result of not paying attention fully as well as excessive activity in the brain that leaves no room for considering words before I speak them.
Some wise person once said that, “Be careful with your words, once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.” No wonder we need to be careful with what we speak. The guilt and consequences of actions taken equals that of unworthy words spoken. I have watched people haunted by words they spoke that they should have not. Others live with regrets because of words they spoke while angry but they can’t take them back.
How powerful can words be? So powerful to the extent that words win people and on the contrary create enmity. Other words inspire and impact people in a way we cannot explain. Words are like a two edged sword because they can heal and kill. Sometimes it may not be the words alone but how, when and where we speak them. For example the words I spoke could have made sense if I spoke them in a different manner that could have achieved whatever intention I had for them.
There is a Fake Buddha quote that says, “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” The challenge with words is that we can never measure how people perceive them. And this is the greatest barrier in communication. One which I am always trying to understand. There is a greater challenge here for our females specifically. Women are feeling and hearing beings. They are aroused and thrilled by words. Words to them is a gem of rare likening and is the very reason men are encouraged to take great care in the words they speak in the company of their female friends or where the team comprises women. How women perceive words goes a long way to determine if communication took place or not.
We are judged in the areas that shape us which include appearance, performance and importance by words. In all these, words are the magic used to decode them. Let’s explore the three parts in this context of words so that we can understand why we need to carefully consider what comes out of our mouths for they influence us and the people we interact with to a very large extent.
Some of the greatest ancient orators that include Cicero, Caesar to philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and others are rated on their words. Talk of Abraham Lincoln, J F Kennedy to most recently, Obama; these are individuals whose words and speeches helped America remain in the right trajectory. To these individuals, words mean their greatness. It is words senior and successful entrepreneurs use to explain their visions to their teams that has made them as successful as they are. So when we use our words with great precision and purpose, we are able to be portrayed as important and in a positive manner.
Our importance is measured by what comes out of mouths once we open them to speak. It takes the first few minutes, sometimes less a minute for a person to decide if they should keep listening to you or switch off simply because how you express yourself is able to give people a glimpse of who you are and perhaps how important you can be. Words are powerful. For instance an investor is able to tell if he can invest in an individual by the first few words that come out of their mouth as they pitch. I once realized that a team led by a certain individual felt demotivated because he kept using the word I in the presentation. To them this guy was taking whole credit for the success yet they helped a lot in that success. Overusing the word I in a marriage scenario can bring in a lot of issues because most people believe that a marriage is a teamwork thing. In this case it is not even words but a word that makes all the difference.
Our performance and appearance is best known through what is said of ourselves. For instance the words we speak to our friends about them means a lot to how they carry themselves. I remember watching a movie in the course of last week where two ladies were competing head on to be the queen. In the movie, Esther, a young damsel asks the other lady why she has covered her face and she answers that she believes she is not beautiful and is using that cover to disguise herself to the King as a modest lady.
Esther compels the lady to uncover her face before marveling at her beauty. Esther encourages her that she is very beautiful. The lady takes that as a mockery since in all her life, nobody has ever appreciated her or told her that she is beautiful. The lady immediately changes her attitude and positivity starts steaming from inside her. Simple words. The magic and wonders words can do.
Words mean everything to some people. A woman filed a divorce case because her husband didn’t tell he loved her as often as she desired. Another one went to court for being called a name inappropriately. My friend quarreled with me a while back because of a one word I told him simply because he wanted me to say it in a different manner, a different tone in other words. Words are powerful. Not thinking before we use them lets us live with the consequences all our lives. And so let us always engage our minds before we engage our lips.
We were given two eyes that we may see a lot of things, two ears that we may listen more but one mouth that we may speak less and when we do speak, that we may inspire others.
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