When it comes to relationships with your spouse, kids, friends, and co-workers, remember that your words matter. “Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten”. That anonymous quote has helped me in times of anger, as a reminder to be mindful of what I’m about to say. I believe that people are kind by nature, but when they are hurting, harmful things are said. We are all vulnerable to messing up and saying mean spirited things, but here are 3 ways to remind yourself to pause and think before speaking to ensure that you are bringing more love to the world, not pain, through the power of your words.
Hurt People, Hurt People
“Hurt people, hurt people” is a phrase that has allowed me to give grace to those that have said mean spirited things my way. It also helps me look in the mirror and realize when that vile word is about to be thrown toward my target, I’m the one hurting and not them. Ask yourself, “why am I hurting?” or if they are spitting hatred “why are they hurting?” Once you realize that person is hurting, you look at them empathetically. Instead of hurling back something that will create more pain, perhaps you give them a hug or just let them know that it’s ok to be angry. This way, you can learn how to get over hurtful words in a relationship, and prevent yourself from dishing them out.
This word has saved my wife and I countless fights and realistically our marriage. Blueberry is our key word to say this conversation stops right now. It’s our safe word to communicate that nothing positive is coming from this conversation and we will pick it up later when “cooler heads prevail”. You can pick your own word and it doesn’t have to be fruit. The idea is to have a process in place for when the conversation turns ugly or is counterproductive. I love my wife and don’t want to fight with her but inevitably every relationship will have their scuffles. That’s ok, but in order to know how to communicate in relationships, it’s important to have something in place to “stop the madness”, when all you and your partner see is red.
Compliment 3 People Per Day
You know that moment when you see someone that looks stunning, gives the best customer service, or smiled and brightened your day. If you are anything like me, you have a running dialogue in your head that says how pretty they are or what an awesome person that is. Typically, we don’t give compliments because we don’t want to be awkward or creepy. I understand that feeling, but what I’ve learned is telling that person how amazing they are or how beautiful their smile is makes them feel good to hear it and you feel good saying it. If your intent is not creepy then don’t wait but rather say how you feel. Remember how good it feels to receive a compliment, so why not pay it forward.
Your words matter, and have more power than you think, so make sure to use them wisely. Unless you are seeking to have drama in your life, use these reminders to avoid the common pitfalls of petty arguments that can cause permanent pain. Human beings are not perfect, so if you forget to say blueberry and unload your very worst, the next best thing to do is apologize. Don’t let your pride and ego get in the way of having a beautiful relationship. You deserve it and you are most certainly worthy of it. I would ask one more thing and that is to share this article with your 5 closest friends to let them know why words matter. It will help them keep you accountable and spread more love which this world can always use more of.
JM Ryerson is a best-selling author and Performance and Mindset Coach. JM has a question for you. Are you living your best life, and do you feel fulfilled in your goals and achievements? While it’s tempting to say yes, really take a minute to consider what it means to be truly fulfilled. What does that look like to you? Does it match your current environment? As a professional leadership coach for entrepreneurs and executive teams, these are the questions that JM has spent years helping people of all backgrounds answer. His passion to help others succeed at work, at home, and in life is empowering the next generation of business leaders. If you’re interested in pursuing peak performance in both your life and at work, then make a change now. Stay up-to-date with JM’s latest discoveries through his podcast, Let’s Go Win, and learn more about the power of positive growth.