“It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away…” crooned boy-band heartthrobs Boyzone back in the 90s. And even before that, Rita Coolidge sang the same words in the 70s, preceded by the Bee Gees in the 60s. That is indeed a while back. But the import is not lost.
While the original connotation was romantic, there are practical takeaways for us. The words we use can have a huge bearing on those around us. Especially the words used when one is irate. And I’m certainly guilty of this.
Picture this. A neighbour greets you:
“Hey – it is so good to see you today after a long time – especially during your morning walk! Have a wonderful day”
“Hey – Where have you been?! You go for morning walks? I’ve never seen you at this time before.”
A simple morning greeting, can have profound differences on the other person’s mood and day. As the recipient of the second version above, my impulsive thought was – “Am I being accused?”
There are 2 learnings here for me:
- Use words with care. They are like a bag of feathers being released into the wind. Once gone, it is hard to bring back.
- Stay unperturbed about the words others use. We cannot control others. But we can control how we react to them.
‘1’ helps us be better human beings amid others. ‘2’ helps us be better human beings despite others.