«

»

Mar 31

The Power of Words: Why you should think before you speak

think before you speak

Do you think before you speak?

 

I was on my sixth grade language class and our lesson was about interrogative sentences.  I was picked by my teacher to give an example of an interrogative sentence by asking a question to one of my classmates and that classmate will also give an example by asking a question back.

I was young and reckless back then and even though I already had a question at the top of my mind, I couldn’t help myself from listening to my friends who were pushing me to ask a question that’s supposed to be funny.

The classmate that was paired with me was one of our friends too and we always teased her about her nose.  My buddies were urging me to ask her why she had a big nose and the stupid boy that I was then happily obliged.  So I asked her, “why do you have a big nose?” and the entire class laughed.

She smiled at first and then proceeded to ask me her question.  I was shocked because her voice shook when she started talking and as soon as she spoke, tears fell down her eyes.

“And who gave you the right to ask me that question?”

She cried.  And I mean hysterically.

I was so embarrassed and I felt bad after.  This happened before lunchtime and as lunch break came, my teacher asked me to stay so I can talk to her and apologize and man, she continued crying even after I said sorry.  I felt really bad for saying what I said but I could never take it back.

Sometimes, we say things we never thought can hurt the person we said it too just because we think we already know the person.

Words can be that powerful and if you’re not careful enough, it can lead to something worse than offending someone.

Here are 3 other reasons why you should think before you speak:

 

Words can ruin reputations

A single word not carefully thought of can tarnish your reputation especially if the people who heard what you said are the judgmental ones.  Rumors spread fast and for all you know, what you said by mistake in front of three people can now be the trending topic across the different social media platforms.  With the advent of social media, words spread faster than ever before and if you’re not careful enough, a single mistake can be disastrous for you.

Take the case of actor Alec Baldwin’s recorded phone conversation with his daughter Ireland.  His rage made him say things that a child should never hear from any of her parents and this made the news and spread like wild-fire through social media.

 

Words can destroy relationships

It’s sad that sometimes, relationships which took years to build suddenly ends with a word or two.  This happens to friendships, business partners, lovers and yes, even marriages.  It is healthy to argue once in a while and be honest with each other but sometimes, at the heat of the moment, one of the parties tend to go too far and say something that not only is insensitive but also too painful to swallow for the other.

When emotions are running high, people tend to oversee the boundary between making a point and saying something offensive and sometimes, the words are just too painful and insulting that the relationship ends right there and then.  Some relationships survive but its foundation is already weak because of the hurt that was caused.

You think less when you’re emotional and things like these do happen that’s why it will be good to know the other person well enough to know his or her sensitivities.  You also need to learn to control your emotions and you anger so you can prevent yourself from saying things you will regret later.

 

Words can move people to action

Being a leader is a big responsibility because the people you lead follows whatever you say.  Great leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela’s words have been a great source of inspiration for their respective countries.  That’s how powerful words are.  They unite nations.

There are also those who moved people to doing evil acts such as the Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II.  Millions of Jews were executed and murdered all because Adolf Hitler had this crazy idea that killing the Jews would purify their nation.  What’s worse is that the Nazis believed him and helped him carry out his ideology.

Words that have been said can no longer be taken back and though we can get forgiveness for words we didn’t mean to say, it will always be beneficial for us to think before we speak because even if we can be forgiven, things we’ve spoken of may never be forgotten.  That’s how powerful it is so be responsible and learn to choose your words carefully before saying them.

Have you said something to someone that you wish you can take back?

I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

 

Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

6 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Robert Petrie

    Words are amazing, they can bring joy and build, but they can also bring hurt and destroy. We can make someone’s day with our words and even influence their future for the better, but we can also do the opposite. That girl you asked about her nose could have carried that through her whole life as a negative emotion that may have held her back. But we have all said things we regret, and we also can be affected by what we have said, so it is important to forgive ourselves.

    Emotions like anger lead us to act without thinking, the thinking goes out of the window because we have lost control, this is why it is good to take several deep breaths when we get angry, it calms us down brings back the thinking process.

    A great post Noel.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      thanks Robert. Good thing we still became friends (the girl in my story) after this happened and buried the hatchet so to speak. From that moment on I really became cautious in saying things that may sound funny at first but can hurt without me knowing. Appreciate your comments and for following my blog Robert!

  2. Pamina

    Yes Noel – words can make or break people, especially when they’re repeated often. Most of all we want to watch the words we use to speak to ourselves!

  3. Nkosi Sibanda

    Hi Noel. I like the post. It’s real. Many people have said irresponsible statements leading to very poor results. I have the Rwandan genocide in mind. One careless statement from a radio station sparked what is arguably the worst and most barbaric of actions in that nation. So yes people must think before they speak, and it doesn’t matter what levels you’re dealing with. Whether you’re in a position of government influence or a classmate in sixth grade! We ned to learn how to deal with our emotions for success.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Absolutely Nkosi! Politics is a hot topic now here in Manila because of the coming elections so yeah, there are lots of examples to look at. On a serious note we really need to be careful with what we say because what seems tame to us may be hurtful towards others. Thanks for reading my blog and lets talk about that guest blogging deal soon!

  4. Pamina Mullins

    Well Nkosi – that sure puts this conversation into perspective! You’re absolutely right – words can kill or create – well said.

  1. Making the right choices: What's your story?

    […] We had a previous post about this topic that you can read here. […]

Leave a Comment and Let's Talk!