It has been on my heart for a couple of days now to speak about something that I am not sure how it will be taken. I wonder if my words will accepted or if I will step on some toes. But one thing that I do know is that if it is on my heart then it is the Holy Spirit leading me to do it so here I go……. Have you ever thought about how it affects someone by what you say to them? Even down to our good intentions. We may mean well but that does not mean that it is taken that way. We have to be mindful to the words that come out of our mouth.
What you may mean as constructive criticisim may be taken as an attack. What you mean as a compliment can actually be taken as ridicule. What you mean in the best intentions can give someone hope and then when you fail to follow threw it is another disappointment for them. The way that our words are precieved can be many but there is a way that we can do our best for them to be accepted as we mean them. Changing simple words can mean all the difference from someone feeling attacked or welcoming our words. We have to keep in mind that people receive words by the way that they feel inside. And although it is not our job to fix their mindset or feelings, we can change our words around so that they are more welcoming.
When you are talking to someone about something that they have done or are doing that is not right, instead of using the word “you” use the word “we” and change the statement from being a direct personal statement to a general statement, making the person not feel like they are being singled out. For example, if I am talking to someone about something that they are doing I might say something like, “I have noticed that you do _____ just like many of us do and I get it cause many of us do it but it hurts us because of _______.” Or if I am talking to someone about a change that they need to make I will say something like, “we all struggle with change but it is up to us to make the change”. I don’t know if this is explaining what I mean well enough but I think that it is enough for you to get the point.
When we use general words instead of personal words it helps the person to not feel singled out, like you are pointing a finger in their face, and they are more acceptable to your words. Of course there are times that you have say, “you are ________ or you do ______” because we do have to make sure that they know that our words are meant for them personally. But we can put a spin on our words so that they do not feel attacked. We can get so much further in a conversation with a friend or a spouse when we use these little changes in our words.
When you talk to someone and they express a need for something, do not say that you would love to help them because you feel the need to say it. You have good intentions and want to be able to do it but you forgot about prior engagements or didn’t think about what it will actually require of you for you to be able to help them and now you have to back out on them, letting them down. Always think about what it will require of you and make sure that you can follow threw with your words before you say that you will help. Don’t tell someone if there is “anything” that I can do for you just let me know because you never know what that “anything may end up being and you may not be able to do it. So much hurt is caused to a person when they are always told the famous saying, “if there is anything that I can do for you just let me know” because most of the time if they do call on that person they end up not getting that help that was so generously offered before. That simple statement has caused so many people to lose hope in others and question everyone else’s offers of help.
Our words can lift others up or they can bring them down. They can bring hope or they can cause hopelessness. They can encourage someone to make the change that will bring them freedom or they can cause them even more bondage. The bible clearly says that life and death are in the tongue. That is a mighty power that is in such a small organ in our body. It is also a great power to have when we use them to give life and not death. If we switch some of the simple words that we speak we can make such a difference in the way that others receive them. And always think before you make an offer to someone.