“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
– Mother Teresa
We all spend our days talking – to loved ones, to co-workers, to strangers. The question is are the words we’re using uplifting the people around us or cutting them down?
Think about your most recent conversations with your children. Did you spend most of your time correcting them, telling them what not to do? Were you impatient or short with them?
How about conversations with your friends or family? Did you find yourself complaining, rehashing old stories, or even gossiping about others who weren’t even there?
Now think about your conversations with your boss or co-workers. Are these conversations usually filled with cheer and support or do you find yourself talking about all the work you need to do or how you can’t wait until this week is over?
The fact is, most of us don’t take the time to choose our words carefully when we interact with others. We’re usually not paying attention. We’re thinking about what we need to do next or regretting something we didn’t do earlier in the day. So we miss opportunities to show gratitude and appreciation with our words. Worse yet, we often communicate frustration or disapproval without meaning to.
So why does this matter so much? Do words really have that much power?
As children we often heard “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Unfortunately many of us remember all too well the effect of unkind words from our peers or the negative feedback we received from a teacher or principal.
The truth is words have the power to hurt. The good news is, they also have the power to heal and inspire, as well.
What would happen this week if you set an intention to use kinder words in all of your interactions?
- What if you said “Thank You” more often and really meant it?
- What if you told a coworker that you really appreciated something they did for you last week?
- Or sincerely praised someone’s presentation?
- What if you really looked at the refrigerator art your child brought home and said something heartfelt and positive?
- What if you sent an email to a friend or coworker that told them about something you admire about them?
Give some of these ideas a try and see how your week goes. We’re willing to bet you’ll come away with a whole new understanding of the power of your own words. The truth is, it takes just as long to share negative words as it does to share positive ones. Choose the positive words more often and watchÂ the magic happen.