Let’s Talk the Power of Your Words

Just recently I found myself in a draining situation where I faced a body-shaming comment. Intended or not intended, it occurred. I must say I approached the situation very defensive. This was not exactly at how the comment may have been intended but at the fact that, bottom line, the individual that made that comment did not even consider the possibility of me having an extensive background with insecurities with my body.

Truth is, most likely, we may not always be aware of an individual’s story before commenting or, in this case, criticizing someone based on their appearance and/or other factors. Yet, that is exactly why we should think before we speak, specially when it comes to expressing your thoughts about someone. If there is something that I have learned about the meaning of words in my journalism class is that words hold power, great power. My professor has mentioned several times that your words can either make a person or break him/her.

Although I believed that to be true, since I strongly believe words can have an impact on a person, which is one of the primary reasons of why I love writing, as I mentioned it on my post Why do I Write? Why do You Write?.

In some way, the comment that stroked me was about the complexion of my body. In other words, this individual claimed that I was “chubbier” or “fatter” than someone else in my family to which, like I mentioned, I acted very defensive and confronted the person that said that to me.

Right after this took place, I took a time out to evaluate the whole situation and to what extent this could potentially have on me. In the past, comments as such were able to break the younger version of me that thought skinny was beautiful. And there it was, the comment had taken a toll on me. However, instead of feeling defeated, there was a different emotion, annoyance. I was annoyed at the fact that someone not close to me that did not have a clue of the person I am or knew even the tip of what I have been through could made such an unsolicited comment and try to wiggle out of the confrontation by chuckling.

In reality, what frighten me about the situation was how it could all affect my mentality and the perception of my body. There, I realized this person’s words had not interfered with the bridge of confidence I continue to build. Once I had absorbed the whole situation, I found myself satisfied with my body image. On that moment, I knew that the unsolicited comment was not going to influence on what I was going to eat, what my exercise regime was going to be like, or push me towards a unhealthy decisions in order to loose weight. Being compared and being told that I was bigger than someone would have destroyed me a few years ago, and now, although I cannot state that I am immune to those comments, I can say I’ve learned to overcome criticism and stop it rather than questioning who I am becoming.

As I previously mentioned, your words can have a huge impact on someone, therefore, not all, specially criticisms should not be made casually. Just because a person is outspoken or very honest it does not mean that their words will always be taken lightly by everyone. It is merely impossible to know the story of every single person or what they might have dealt with or what they may be going through, which is why we need to be careful with how we express about others.

I would like to know what is your opinion on this subject. Do you think we should choose carefully our words when we speak to or about someone as it could potentially have and impact on them? Do you believe that “censoring” what you say in a way is a violation of speaking your mind freely?

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19 comments

  1. While I was reading this, I remember all those hurtful comments I got when I was around 12 or 13 years old, I have always hated my ears, they’re too big, at least in my opinion, but even when people used to say funny but hurtful comments about my ears I never cared too much about them, I used to show them with no problem until I turned 12, I hated them but I also used to hate my hair, so the only option was to continue showing my ears, then I got a boyfriend who used to attack me in many ways, one of them was with horrible comments, when we broke up I decided to do my hair in different ways, then I got another boyfriend, this one used me and hurt me so bad physically and emotionally, me made me go back to my insecurities, my weight, my hair, my ears, my legs, everything and it took me a while to take that security back again.

    So definitely I think we have to be very careful at the moment we speak, we have to try to think first, we don’t know what consequences could have any of our words, it could be just make the people feel bad or even worse, they could lead to do horrible things like suicide. Thinking before we speak it’s not a violation, it’s something we need to learn to do, and also be careful how we say the things because even when our intentions are not bad, the way we say the things might sound bad.

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    • Hello, I really appreciate that you are able to open up about such things that have affected you in the past. People might think that words are harmless, like a harmless joke, but situations where words were the cherry on top of a situation in someone’s life that can really have, in the worst case scenarios, irreversible outcomes, such as what you mentioned, suicide. I think that is the main reason of why we should think craft our words carefully when it comes to addressing someone’s look or personality, we can’t always be certain of what is behind. Yes, in my case the comment that was directed at me may or may not have been intended to cause harm, but unfortunately that is the way it came out and there was no taking things back, at least from the person’s side.

      Liked by 1 person

      • After so many years I have been able to be more open to talk about what happened to me in the past, it wasn’t easy but at least to me, being open about it help me to go through it and that way maybe help others with similar experiences and make them realise that words can have a big impact on people.No many people can deal with attacks so well like others, now I don’t really care about what people think about me but before i was very sensitive and they used to have a big impact on me. It’s about time and learn to deal with people’s opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, your experience and you acknowledging and being open about it can certainly help people that may be going through a similar situation to the one you went through. It helps spread awareness, which I think is greatly helpful. I also strongly believe you have come a long way were you have gained confidence in who you are to not let judgements have a toll on you, which can be tedious but worth it in the nd.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a hard one! I believe you should be able to speak your mind, however I think you must always think how you word sound so as not to be unkind! However sometimes people can misinterpret what you say due to things that have happened to them in the past. Our past shapes us but we shouldn’t let it define us! How can that unassuming person that accidentally says the wrong thing know everybody’s past. The responsibility lies not really with the person who says the comment but you to build up your worthiness so your opinion about yourself is stronger than their opinion of you. You are beautiful because you are a wonderful creation! An amazing being! 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it is something that could be argued from both ways. I do belive that a person should be able to speak their mind, freedom of speech, but this is troubling when the counterargument is that speaking our minds about something or someone may be offensive and therefore could have a negative impact. I agree, in my situation I was able to overlook the words and purpose of the message, which made me be in awe when I realize how much I have evolved and continue to do so. However, everyone is different and may have a completely different or even a harsher background and even the slightest comment could have a toll on them which makes this topic, to an extent, controversial. I couldn’t with you more, although the past may come to haunt us, we can’t let it define who we become. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I believe we all should be careful what we say to people because sometimes our comments can hurt their feelings. I’m not stopping anyone to say how they feel about anything but it’s a certain way you can express yourself without problems. Don’t let anyone comments affect how you feel about yourself. Sometimes you have to ignore people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your opinion on this subject, Desi. I do think people should say how they feel and speak their mind freely, but when we do so, especially towards a person, I think we should take in consideration that individual be cause they are human beings just like us. Like you mentioned, we could end up hurting their feelings our comments and this could even be unintentional. I think you also made a good suggestion, sometimes do have to ignore people and disengage from their remarks simply for our own well being.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If censoring our words means not to blur out the words which hurt someone then I totally stand up for it. If humans will not understand humans then who will? According to me, if you cannot control your words then it’s unfortunate. And ya! truly, words can make people or break people.
    Hope you’re doing fine now.
    P.S.- A suggestion for you, read ‘The power of your subconscious mind’ by Dr. Joseph Murphy. It will help you a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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