Have you ever had an experience in your life where another human being said some words that were hurtful or could have been very hurtful to you?
I know I have…
I remember one time I was going for this promotion for a job I used to work at and I was really excited about the possibility of being advanced in my career, and so I was sitting in this interview with my boss.
It was like a 45 minute long interview.
Throughout the course of the interview, I was being asked questions like, “Paul, tell me what are your 3 greatest strengths?”
The kinds of questions they ask you during job interviews.
In any case – in the course of this interview, I told my boss that one of my biggest strengths is that I have passion.
And I fully believed that I did,
…he nods his head.
When we get to the end of the interview he looks at me and he says
“Paul you don’t get the job, you don’t get the promotion, and are you open to some feedback?”
I remember I said to my boss “Yes of course I’m open to some feedback.”
And he looks at me, and he points his finger in my face and he said,
“You don’t have passion.”
And my heart sank a little bit.
And he said “Stand up!”
And so we stood up in the office and we look out the window, because his office has all this glass windows around it.
And he pointed to someone out there on the call center floor.
And he said “You see that guy over there?”
And I said, yes I see Jared.
And he said “If you want to know what passion looks like?
Watch Jared and maybe you can learn something.” “Thanks and have a nice day.“
And he ussured me out of his office.
Those words, especially coming from an authority figure, have the potential to literally destroy me inside had I chosen to accept them. Most of us don’t realize the power of words, and what they can do to us, on the inside.
In the Bible it says, “In the beginning” was the word.
It seems to me that the words that come out of our mouths have a powerful tendency to have an effect for good or not so good.
I had an experience last night and I want to share it with you that really drives this point home for me.
Yesterday, we started out the day and it was one of those days where everyone was grumpy.
Have you ever had an experience like that?
Maybe it’s in your marriage relationship or maybe it’s in your family relationship where somebody get’s grumpy and then that sort of infects everybody else in the family?
For whatever strange reason, yesterday in my family, everyone was grumpy.
Like starting off on the very first part in the morning, my wife Corene said,
“You know our 2 little guys, they were just grumpy all day long right from the first part of the morning.”
And then it goes on and I picked my kids up from karate.
And my oldest boy Kayden, as I’m watching him in Karate, he’s being a little bit rough with his younger brother Camden.
So when we get out in the truck I said, “Kayden, could you please take it a little bit easy on your brother?
You’re a lot bigger than him.
You’re a lot stronger than he is.”
And he exploded at me.
And he’s like “Dad! What are you talking about! I didn’t do this, I didn’t do that!”
He exploded at me.
And so we drive home and the evening continues.
We get to the dinner table and we’re all sitting around and having dinner and still there’s this sense of grumpiness in the family.
And it gets to the point where Kayden is still acting up and he’s still not doing the things what we want him to do, And so I send him to his room.
It was about bedtime anyway.
So I said, “Alright Kayden, time for you to go.
Get your jammies on.
Let’s get your teeth brushed and let’s get you to bed.”
And he explodes at me again.
And he is all sorts of upset and angry, throwing a tantrum like 8 year olds sometimes do.
And there I was sitting outside of his room.
Listening to him explode and let his emotions take control of him.
And a thought came in to my mind.
It was actually a sentence that I almost said — and I caught myself and instead of saying it, I held it in, I maintained peace with my son.
I was able to calm him down and get him to drift off to sleep.
Then later on, I went out and sat on the hot tub to relax a little bit.
So there I am sitting in the hot tub, looking at the stars.
The glistening stars in the sky.
Watching the mist rise up from the water.
And it’s just the very crisp cool clean Idaho evening.
I was just sitting there, lots of peace and having time to reflect on life and the power of words.
I was sitting there at the hot tub reflecting on the day and reflecting on what had happened earlier in the evening with my family.
The thought came to me.
The words, the sentence, came to me that I almost said to my 8 year old son.
You’re going to have a rough life if you can’t learn to control yourself.
And as I sat there in the hot tub and I thought about that sentence.
And I thought about how the mind of a child is so malleable.
From what I have studied in the books that I have read and the audios that I have listened to, I have learned that children and their unconscious minds are just wide open and receptive.
And they’re just ready for pretty much anything to be dumped in there especially things that are planted there by anyone in positions of authority.
And here I am, Kayden’s Dad — I’m definitely an authority figure in his life.
So what would have been the effect had I not stopped myself and chose instead to say those words.
“You’re going to have a rough life if you can’t learn to control yourself.”
I shuttered to think the effect that I might had on my 8 year old.
Because odds are, Kayden, he can’t even understand what the word “if” means.
It seems like the mind processes images from the words & sentences that come in to our lives.
We see these images in our minds and we might not be able to process mentally an image of the word “if”.
We can’t process mentally an image of the word “not”.
And that’s why you say things like — don’t imagine a pink elephant.
And what happens, you imagine a pink elephant because the mind tends to think in pictures, doesn’t it?
Had I chosen to say that sentence to my son, what would he have processed?
An 8 year old kid.
He would have processed — my Dad says that I’m going to have a rough life.
And he probably would have processed that second part of the sentence that said,
….”You can’t learn to control yourself.“
How damaging might that have been to my 8 year old son?
It could have been like me literally programming his brain that he is going to have a rough life. And that he can’t learn to control himself.
It could have further compounded the challenge that i was having with him.
So last night as I sat there in the hot tub, I thought to myself — “Good job Dad! Good job! You caught yourself.”
And why did I catch myself?
I caught myself because like you, I’m getting around people who are helping me grow.
I’m reading books.
I’m listening to audios.
Fortunately in the home business profession, we’re into personal growth & therefore, we learn about the power of words.
And because we’re into personal growth, we study things like the effect of language.
We study things like the effects our words have on others.
And I am just so grateful that I was able to catch myself last night and have that small little win.
And so I wanted to share this with you as a reminder, because I believe you probably already know this stuff.
The fact that you’re reading this blog post means you’re somebody who’s engaged in learning more and wanting to grow.
But aren’t reminders good sometimes?
Have you ever had a memorable experience where the words of another human being cut you down or lifted you up?
I would love to hear your experience in the comments down below.
Thanks for reading!