Words, Words, Words! 🔨Sep 22, 2022
I know a teen who’s suffering now. She’s in and out of school. Struggling to survive. When she repeated to me the things that her parents and school have said to her over the years - it’s no shock she’s in pain. Sadly, she has little Self Worth.
Words are powerful. Words can destroy someone’s Self Image. And words can build someone’s Self Worth. Just like a hammer has the ability to build and destroy.
Self-worth is the internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love from others.
For better or for worse, our Self Worth is largely created by other people’s perception and words about us. And the words of our parents or our teachers or of other people that we look up to or are close – have super powers. Those are words on steroids.
Think about this for a sec.
How do you know if you are a great speaker? Or a great ball player? Or a great learner? Or a kind person? Or a great journalist? Or a great mom? Or a great child? Or a great husband? Or a great teacher?
The lucky ones know their strengths internally and develop pride and Self Worth from within. These people have their own inner voices cheering them on. That, I believe, is the ideal. We can all tap into this strength - but few, if any, can function only this way.
More often we know we are good at something because, at some point in our lives, someone else told us that we are good at it. Our knowledge and pride (that we are good at something) has mostly been sparked by someone else’s words.
This is a huge responsibility. For all of us.
Look around. We all know children, spouses, students, friends, siblings, parents, and neighbors who do not know how good they are at something – because no one ever told them!
And more than that, how many of us suffer from words that were said to us (as children or even as adults)? Those hurtful words have sadly taken on meanings and lives within us even if they were never actually true! How much of our negative self perception and identity is rooted in what others have said to us?
Silly example, but it kinda makes the point: My five year old is currently taking antibiotics. And honestly, it’s not her strength. Understatement of the Year. One of my older kids said to her “you’re so bad at taking medicine!” A comment like that can stick. And I’m even wondering now if perhaps someone said something like that to me when I was younger! 🤣 Because, there is no question I would also rather suffer than drink nauseas tasting medicine. (And that pregnancy glucose test —- oy, that glucose test.) Thinking about it, I wish someone would have told me when I was younger how great I was at drinking nauseating meds. Maybe that would have helped. And so, we’ve been telling our Five Year Old she’s a great medicine taker 🎉. (And I will keep you posted in 20 years.)
Words build people. Words are free. Our words help shape who other people become.
- Telling a child “ya know, you are an amazing friend/baker/son/quarterback!” Will.Give.Power.
That child will now look in the mirror and see “an amazing friend.”
- Telling a spouse “ya know, you are an amazing parent!” Will. Give. Power.
That spouse will now look in the mirror and see “an amazing parent.”
YOU are reading this newsletter to become more self-aware and more socially appropriate-ish!
YOU are great! I really mean that.