Your Words are Powerful

Your words are powerful. In fact, I often say that people do good when they feel good. This is true of adults and children. Children who act on Levels C and D of the Levels of Development chart feel good. While those who act on Levels A and B have more negative feelings. What are you doing to help others do good? Is your language uplifting others? Or are your words bringing people down?

Yes, your words are powerful and what you say often has a big impact on others. While many people don’t intentionally say outright mean or nasty things to others, they may use other subtle words or sentence patterns that disempower others.

Your Words Matter

The great football coach Lou Holtz said, “It’s tough to get ahead when you waste your time getting even.” That’s the reason that condemnation has to be avoided. It’s a dead end.

Blaming, condemning behavior isn’t always blatant. In its subtle form, it simply starts with the “You” word. It comes out in phrases such as “You should…. You always…. You never…. or You’re the one to blame.”

Holtz related the story of being at a dinner party where a woman said to her husband, “There are two things wrong with your speaking. You get off the track.” Her husband asked, “What’s the second?” “You came back to it,” she replied.

Even though the wife might have shared the comment with a certain lightness, it was a condemnation nevertheless, and Holtz suspected the husband felt put down rather than amused.

If you’re the victim of someone’s condemnation, it naturally prompts negative feelings. So think twice before using “You” in conversation—even in jest—because of the accusatory nature of its effect.

Tip: Remember that your words are powerful. Make sure the words you use are empowering those around you. Positivity goes a long way to making relationships much stronger.


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