Did you know making the simple choice between two words could have the power to change someone’s entire day? There is even a possibility you could impact them emotionally? An extra moment of effort in your choice of words could change the impact a word can have on the person you are speaking that may last a lifetime. I saw the power of my words in action just the other day through one of my friends and a comment I thought I was a light one.
My friend and I were working on something together, I was totally flustered and scattered. I was trying to look for a solution to a problem when my friend made a suggestion that would save me not only time but a lot of worry too. Mind you my ‘friend’ is only 6! I was so grateful that I immediately thanked her and told her how smart she was for her idea. I looked up from what I was doing after I heard a short gasp. She had her hand to her chest and was sitting there with her mouth wide open. I was surprised by her reaction and wondered if something was wrong.
“You just called me smart…”
Yes, you are. You thought of something that
Ms. Tiffany didn’t and it really helped me out.
Thank you and it was very smart of you.
What’s the matter…?
“I think it’s awesome you called me smart…
My brother and sister call me stupid all the time
and I was starting to believe them.”
When she told me this I had such a mix of emotions. For one I couldn’t believe her ability to express herself so clearly (another sign of how smart she really is). I was also shocked that my short phrase of praise was making such an impact.
I know some of you may be wondering whether her statement about her siblings calling her stupid surprised me. It honestly didn’t. I know from having 2 younger sisters as well as a lot of older cousins that kids can be mean. I also realize at times they say things without even knowing how it can hurt the other person. I don’t feel her siblings should have said these things but I also know it is not out of the ordinary.
The experience with my friend made me think on how often my choice of words to strangers, friends, or family may have left the wrong impression without thought or even conscious intent of being mean but simply because I didn’t think. Even in this situation, I didn’t consciously think “I want to compliment her” it was a reaction to the situation. Yet, how often do our reactions result in a negative comment instead of a positive one? If we took a few extra moments could we not make a choice and be sure our words are positive ones?
What would happen if we took that extra second
to make a choice of our words?
Instead of talking down to someone we lift them up,
instead of judging we encourage or instead or criticizing we support?
Let’s all try just a little bit more to make a choice of our words…
We never know who’s day we may change for the better.