The Power of Words: The TAKE-AWAY

I will share 3 posts on the idea of words and how they relate to our sense of identity & perception. Hopefully this series will help you better relate to the topics of chapter 3 (identity) and chapter 4 (perception).

So, in my previous two posts, on the GOOD in words, as well as the BAD, I spoke of the power of words to heal us, to make us proud, as well as language’s power to hurt, to divide, and to diminish.

In this series, what I want you to understand is one critical and cardinal rule of communication: you have the power to choose the words you use. In each interaction, you can choose to use language to help others, to make them feel good about themselves, to empower people. You can equally, though not necessarily as beneficially, choose words that tear others down, that make them feel less than, or to make them feel powerless.

You may not have the biggest vocabulary, but you can choose to change that, too. Learn the meaning of a new word every day for the next week. Add the word to your conversations that day, and incorporate it into your daily usage for the next week. Make it a habit. Eventually, you will find the power of those words.

Next, you can learn how cultures view particular words. There are reasons we avoid certain words on television and in movies. There are reasons we find some words offensive when used casually. Learn how some words may be viewed by someone with a different experience from your own. Understand why it’s important to learn that difference, so that we can be more culturally sensitive, but also so that we don’t place someone in a situation where they feel powerless.

Finally, you can choose how to best respond in a situation. Take a step back from being angry when possible, and respond with a little more empathy. Understand where others come from, their perspective.

Use your words, but choose them wisely.

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