Inspirational, Informative, and General Reading
Words Are Weapons
With four young daughters, 14 and under, I frequently find myself correcting, disciplining, or simply protesting unnecessary and unkind comments certain to anger or wound a sister and evoke counterattacks that fill the air with nastiness.
Hoping to get them to think before they speak in the future, I often ask, "What did you expect to accomplish by that remark?" and "Did it make things better or worse?"
It disappoints and frustrates me that my children are so often unkind to one another and so quick to make foolish comments that have no constructive purpose. Yet it's even more troublesome when adults engage in the same senseless behavior.
It may be a husband's unfiltered remark about his wife's weight or new wrinkles, a parents' comment, "That's why you have no friends" or 'Why can't you be more like your brother?" or an aunt's unwanted advice, "If you want to get married, lose weight."
Sometimes it's the tone or timing of an otherwise proper statement that makes it sting. We have to remember that words are weapons, sometimes weapons of mass destruction.
Verbal assaulters may defend their unguided missiles with claimed innocence: "I didn't mean it that way" when the real question is "How was the remark likely to be received?"
Another lame excuse is "I was just telling the truth" without considering whether that truth needed to be said. Honesty does not preclude tact.
We may not always be able to shield ourselves from the darts and arrows of inconsiderate or mean-spirited folks, but we can resolve to be more thoughtful in our own communications.
We can be more kind more consistently. We can follow the Golden Rule. Remember, character counts.
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