By Vanessa Palencia
The words you speak and the words you think matter. They affect the way you look at yourself, the way you look at others, and the way you look at life. The words you sing along to in your favorite song, the words you read in your favorite book, the words you hear from your friends’ lips, they all matter.
There’s a saying that goes, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It has some degree of truth to it, words can’t physically hurt you but they can influence you, they can damage your soul, and they can break your heart. There are plenty of experiments like this one that have demonstrated that words are powerful. If you speak positive, encouraging words to a growing plant, then it will flourish, but if you speak negative, degrading words to another, then you will stunt its growth. The same thing happens to you. Whenever you are surrounded by positive, encouraging words from family and friends, then you will flourish, but if you find yourself hearing negative and pessimistic words and ways of thinking, then you will start to see the world through that lens.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether the stuff that we hear is detrimental to ourselves because we’ve become so accustomed to hearing then, so we’ll allow ourselves to continue with the cycle. While situations can differ far and wide, I have compiled a quick list to help you determine whether you need to make some adjustments or not.
If the topic of conversation revolves around:
Someone else’s life choices when they’re not present
An ex who had no positive impact on you or the person bringing them up
Your lack of a love life
All the horrible things that has happened to you today or in the past
Gossip in the workplace or within the family
Other people not contributing to your life
Drugs, alcohol, and other negative stimulants
Degrading your body or pointing out ‘flaws’ in others
Putting other people down
The bottom line is that if the conversation does not help you reach your goals, build your confidence and self esteem up, or make you feel happy and loved, then you need to find a way to readjust your circle of friends, filter your family, and become more aware of your thoughts. If you haven’t, you should try your hand at daily positive affirmations to increase positivity in your life. Remember, words influence our thoughts, minds, and hearts. Don’t be naive to think that we are strong enough to not let derogatory words touch us. They will seep into our subconscious without our knowledge and weave its way into our beliefs and actions, so do yourself a favor and protect yourself. Choose your words carefully and be aware of what you hear.