“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. You have no doubt heard this phrase at some time in your life, probably the most often in your childhood. Yet words do have the power to hurt us. Words are a powerful force and the powerful effects of negative words cannot be underestimated.We all know how horrid and degrading it feels to be called insulting names or be told that we are stupid or deficient in some way. Such words may not leave actual bruises but they certainly leave marks on our psyche, helping to form the picture we hold of ourselves. If you repeatedly hear messages that you are worthless and ugly and idiotic, your subconscious will begin to believe that it is true. You will hold an image of yourself as worthless, ugly and idiotic and you will begin to see yourself only in a negative way, all because of the words someone uses to describe you. It is, of course, unacceptable that anyone should call someone else such names, but name-calling happens so regularly that the effects of those words may be overlooked. The same can be said for the words we use to describe ourselves.
Do you ever berate yourself for mistakes you make, calling yourself stupid or useless? Are you your own worst critic, never giving yourself a break? You are certainly not alone if this is the case, but you should be aware of the pervasive effects of the negative words you use against yourself. Every time you call yourself something derogatory or use negative terms such as “nothing good happens to me” or “I will never be a success”, you are helping to strengthen those beliefs about yourself. And in the process you are doing yourself a great disservice. You may perhaps never tolerate rude or sarcastic comments said to you by others, but you may not be so determined about the way you speak to yourself day in day out. Because we are constantly giving messages to ourselves, it is more vital than ever to ensure that those words you hear in your mind are as positive as possible.
The adverse effects of negative words and negative thinking are well-documented. It is not only personal insults from other people that can be damaging. Being in the company of people who frequently complain or see the bad in everything can be just as dispiriting. Such people give across a negative energy that soon infiltrates everything and everyone around them. Socialising with such people can be very trying, it is especially difficult to be in the company of anyone who actively enjoys wasting time complaining and uses negative words frequently. You probably know people like that! They cannot see the bright side or joy in any situation, even happy events.
They do not realise the insidious effect of negative words and how self-defeating their behaviour is. These people are usually very angry and feel trapped and cheated in life, keen to blame others or situations for their misfortune. This constant griping means they are no longer contributing positively to the world. Usually they are so wrapped up in complaining that they fail to realise life is passing them by. They become cynical and sometimes depressed, much of which is perpetuated by the negative words they use – in their private thoughts as well as verbally. It is no surprise when negative people become ill with some stress-related ailment or other – the mental stress they have caused themselves manifests in other parts of the body, damaging the immune system, raising blood pressure and accelerating the aging process.
Every negative word you use against yourself is potentially a deadly weapon. It has the power to slowly chip away at your dreams and ambitions, your energy and your health. It is almost like a form of self-hypnosis whereby negative words begin to program your negative behaviour for the future. This effect of negative words can be likened to a heavy, grey cloud that settles over your whole life and refuses to shift. Each negative word makes the cloud heavier and darker until it swamps your whole life zapping away any pleasure or happiness. You stop appreciating the many blessings you do have in your life and once you lack gratitude the negativity becomes even more ingrained.
If you use negative words you owe it to yourself to begin to change that pattern. Surely you deserve to live your life in a more positive way? And surely it is time to become your best friend rather than an enemy and support yourself with positivity? You are too important to waste your life due to the use of negative words and you have too much to offer the world to remain under a cloud of negativity.