The tongue is a lethal weapon. With ammunition, it can cause mass destruction.
As human beings, it’s within our power to craft sentences by selecting words as a means of communication on a daily basis. But how often to we actually pause for a moment to think about the impact that our words are having on our quality of life?
Speaking is natural for most of us. Words just tend to flow out our mouths. The type of speech we exude on the other hand, is a habit. For example, some people have developed a vulgar vocabulary and swear after every other word. These people can come off as rude, unapproachable and unhappy. Some people ooze with kind and comforting words. These people can come off as considerate, likable and happy. So when we are speaking to someone who values our words it influences how they feel about us, but more importantly, it can influence how they feel about themselves.
My father only speaks to me to insult me and has done so for as long as I can remember. I grew up terrified of him and I have never felt good enough for him. Being told that I am stupid, ugly and worthless constantly from childhood has stripped me of self esteem for a long time. His words made me lock myself in the bathroom and cry for hours. I’ve lost sleep over it. Up until I started CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) I wholeheartedly believed all of his insults. I thought there was something wrong with me. That I was an awful daughter who couldn’t do anything right because he is never happy with me.
During my early teenage years up until recent, I noticed that his words enraged me so I worked up the confidence to challenge his insults. I know he enjoyed provoking me because arguing is what he does best. We argued aggressively and consistently until he felt threatened by me. Eventually it reached a point where he’d get physical and slap me, push me, punch me, kick me and step on me. I tried to fight back but as a young girl being gripped by a grown man, all I could do is struggle and cry.
Therapy has helped me understand that this man will not change. His words are not true. I’m not the problem.
Today, I was filling out yet another application form for him whilst he stood over me, insulting me.
“Your handwriting is so fucking terrible” (it really isn’t)
“Call yourself a student? You can’t even write 1! That’s not how you write 5! Is that an 8??”
“You’re so stupid, I’m sick of you! Why are my children like this??”
It baffles him. He tries to provoke me more each time but I just don’t give it to him. I remember that it’s not true. I keep my cool. I can’t fight hatred using hatred. I learned that the hard way.
Words are powerful. We can either use them to build people up or break them down.
When in doubt, kill people with silence.
“Silence is a source of great strength. – Lao Tzu”