We all live in a world of communication…
1. Social media abound.. Facebook, Instant Messenger, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc
2. Writings abound.. Blogs, video blogs, books, ebooks, newspapers, etc
3. Spoken words abound.. the dinner table, the water cooler, barbershops, coffee shops, etc
We are bombarded by words, some we say, some we hear, some we think. Words can build or break down.
I have read articles and reports about words… some say it takes sixteen positive words to replace or rebuild one one negative word. Women are said to speak thousands of words a day compared to men speaking into the hundreds, though I am not sure I think this is true depending on the subject matter, men can talk a lot while women might not say much.
You can write a fabulous letter to someone or a group of people only to have it destroyed by one miss spelled word.
You can send a text message and have it autocorrect and mean something that is no wheres near close to watch you intended to communicate.
You can spell your name to the Barista at Coffee house only to get your cup with someone else’s name or your name spelt completely wrong.. the drink is good but the presentation fails. I know a group of youth workers who find it funny and post the various names written on the cups, but it still bothers me some to see them wrong.
I attended an on line email writing seminar that recommended we write an email but prior to sending have a trusted friend proof read it. I thought this was nice but who has time to write an email, send to a friend for proofing and then rewrite said email online to send it out again? But, if we are truly trying to communicate well, it might take that.
But what about words spoken? How do they impact you?
I know I can work hard and be successful all day long feeling great about what is accomplished and have one conversation destroy that immediately. I have had several occasions in the past few days where this has happened. Yes, we need to recognize the work we do and the mistakes we make but we, as the hearer, need to remember two things…
1. You don’t know where the person saying the hurtful words is coming from, or what has happened to them to cause the words to be said, assuming they even knew they were hurtful.
2. You can’t allow one conversation to wreck a very successful day. It is your job to make sure you are building yourself up and surrounding yourself with good people, honest people who will shoot straight with you.
But what if you are the one speaking the bad words…..?
I know we can say hurtful things without even knowing it and we need to make sure to seek out the person who we have hurt and make it right… that takes a big person, someone who is willing to grow.
I know I have said things with the intent to strike back and hurt others with my words… I am sorry to say that but it is true. I have meant harm with my words… but I know it isn’t the right thing or even mature thing to do.
I am encouraging all of us to think before we speak…
think before you post on twitter or Facebook… since the person you might be speaking to doesn’t have a clue and your words will hurt others who aren’t meant to hear them.
think before you respond to a parent, spouse, boss or friend… are you angry, upset or feeling off… if so maybe you need to take a deep breath and wait to speak.
think before you post that picture on social media… it might be cool or funny now but could cost you a job, relationship or respect from others.
think before you reply to a hurtful email… no reason to hurt someone who hurt you.
I would encourage us all to try this one …. if the last word a person will ever hear from you before you die or they die is what you just said… are you ok with that? I know I am making a mountain out of an ant hill but we need to be more sensitive to the words we use as our world moves to using less words to communicate.
Make them count for the good not the bad.