2024 / March

Power in the words

The power in the words won’t go away

The Retune Blog - 15th March 2024

As a child were you ever told; sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?  If only that were true. I guess, if it was true, there would be no need for the saying! But we all know the truth is that what people say to us can scar.

The Green’s Power in the Words addresses this very subject of the power words can have:

If you don't think about what you say … The power in the words won't go away.

It’s clearly important that we think about the words we use and the impact it can have on others. The song offers the counsel:

Speak good words in abundance … You better mean what you say.

It’s a great point the song makes to be fair. There is no point in us just saying nice things if they’re not true or we don’t mean them. But actually taking the time to choose our words is a worthwhile task. But what if you've already been hurt by the words of others?

Well, the good news is that words can heal as well as wound. When we actually acknowledge the words that have harmed us instead of burying or ignoring them we can take away their power.

Sometimes those hurtful words will have been out of spite. But there are times when words will have wounded us but there may have also been an element of truth in what the person was trying to say. Albeit they were saying it in a really clumsy and hurtful manner.

Whilst this can be more complex for us to address, sometimes exploring those words can help us re-language our experience in a more constructive way.

Let’s take an example. Someone once said I was unteachable. That really hurt, and for many years it impacted how I responded in situations. When I was able to identify the words and the impact they had on me I was able to start to think about where the words came from and was able to begin to work out their intention and my interpretation. I was able to reword the phrase in a much more constructive way: I am always willing to learn, but not willing to simply just do what others say without question and consideration. This got to the heart of the matter for me and helped me begin to work out what impact living with this reconstructed interpretation of the phrase would mean.

So, why not take some time out not just to consider the words you use with others, but also those that have been used about you. When we change our words, we change our world.

Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from any qualifying purchases you make using the links on this page. This support helps us to keep Retune free and accessible for all.


Founder and Director of Metanoeo CIC and Metanoeo Coaching. Working with individuals, communities and business to co-create #wellbeing4all through life coaching, resources for living life well and training and supporting life coaches.

It ain't what you do

18 March 2024