Have you ever said something to someone that you said to yourself, why did l say that?
Have you ever used a word that you scratched your head and said to yourself…did l mean that? Words have such powerful meanings and when used in a different context, you would be amazed at how hurtful or counterproductive a wrong word used incorrectly can kill a relationship or have something you are working on fail.
Words have powerful meanings and in today’s cancel culture, words used in the wrong context can be quite damaging. Especially when you throw words out that you don’t mean to say something but comes out totally misunderstood. Throughout the year’s words, phrases have come and gone and those buzz words or catchphrases get used in all types of conversations without any true meaning except that they are the word of the year. Putting that aside, expressions and buzz words are passing trends, but everyday commonly words used incorrectly have far greater damage.
People often use words that mean one thing when they are really saying something else. Most people do so inadvertently, public figures, intentionally. Over the years my pet peeve has been the words “what’s up.” I would always correct folks that would say that to me either directly or in a sentence. Public figures intentionally use words to mislead, misdirect obfuscate the true issue. What follows are some of such obfuscations l have noticed over the years, with my interpretation of what they are really saying.
Every word is a symbol. That’s how language works. On top of that, every word and symbol have different meanings. The way in which you put words and phrases together is also very important to what you are trying to say. Many words also take on different meanings…like the words red or yellow. These two words just to pick a few can be used in talking about an ethnic background or race and at the same time could be used in relationship to have a red face. Again, the context of which you roll these words out could have a great impact. If we take these colors, one person may automatically think “red heads” with the color red. Another person may automatically think the color green represents the environment. If we take it a step further, depending on personal experience and perspective, red could automatically represent blood, pink could represent women’s apparel, green could money and so on.
The usage of curse words can be very damaging…. they have always been used over time, but in today culture these words if not used properly or just belted out in a sentence, or you just shout out a profanity, it could be embarrassing or it could get you miss cast or possibly fired from whatever you are doing. Many curse words are used in a context that many of us wouldn’t even think twice about the meaning behind these words. The words like “shit” and other commonly used words that generally you may think don’t have any significance in what you may say in a non-hurtful way could be perceived differently unless you explain yourself.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
Do you remember this saying from childhood?
It was one l heard often and wanted to believe. The saying states that physical acts can hurt us, but no ones’ words can. There’s nothing that seems further from the truth. Words hurt, and they stick with us far beyond the time of their telling. At the time when l first heard this expression, l didn’t make much of it, but the true meaning behind these words says it all.
Countless studies have suggested merely saying hurtful words or words used in an incorrect manner, may be enough to trigger a pain response in the brain long before any actual pain is felt. Research found hearing words that describe pain – such as excruciating or gruelling activated the area of the brain that process the corresponding sensation. Hurtful words show that words alone are capable of activating our pain matrix and could create a long-lasting effect, especially in children and our youth. I don’t know about you, but certain words for me open up some past wounds and they truly have had a negative impact on me and my psychic.
A word uttered that stayed with us too long. A word spoken we wish we could take back. A word unsaid we yearned had come to life. Whether we heard it, spoke it, or wished it to be said, one thing is for sure – words, or lack thereof, have a profound impact on our well being and the way we see ourselves in relation to the world.
Words can build and shape our self-esteem or just as easily tear us apart. The world can be seen as a loving place or the world can seem cruel.
What takes only seconds to utter can leave an imprint for a lifetime.
Think before you speak….