Sticks and stones can hurt – so can words

Physical wounds can heal through medication and our body’s natural process of healing injuries. Remember, it is the strong mind and will power that heals physical injuries. However, words spoken that hurt you stay inside your mind permanently.

These words keep echoing within ourselves and it makes you feel restless and miserable about yourself. Those emotions of anger, frustration, being hurt must come out somehow. Some people get angry or cry, some share with their close friends or spouse how they feel, but there are many who do not have an outlet or someone close to hear them out and these are people who will sulk.

Whichever language you choose to communicate with people, there are words that one speaks or writes that will generate emotions which could be either positive or negative through either reading or hearing. It is amazing how our brain functions because these are ultimately just words – but they can either motivate you or devastate you.

Human brain reacts to these words which you have no control of.  We like to hear good about ourselves. But we often get to hear criticisms and words that offend us or hurt us.

Ever wondered why couples in love are the happiest ? It is neither their good looks or the touch that keeps them glued together, but it is those words they say to each other which makes them feel good and that positive feeling makes them want to spend more time with each other, until the point where that one unkind word is uttered which hurts either of them and things start falling apart.

Did you ever get pushed in a crowded train ? Perhaps, you did not even bother and you don’t even recollect who they were. But what happens, when someone in that crowded train said something like ‘Why don’t you just get the hell out of my way?’  Our brain’s defense mechanism can probably sustain pushes and minor bruises and because we live in civil society, we choose not to get back at people. But the words that were said to offend you get registered inside your brain permanently and it is up to the individual to react whether s/he returns the verbals or just simply ignore.

I love that smile on my son’s face when I praise him for his paintings.  Aadarsh works very hard on his paintings. With great excitement on my face, I tell him ‘This is the best painting I have ever seen.’   My son them jumps with joy and wants to create more art to show his dad. Perhaps at an early age itself, children understand the meaning and importance of words and being praised for what they do and it is the lack of praise that few children grow up being less confident about themselves.

People who have low self esteem is not because they are not confident of themselves, but because they are surrounded by people who lack empathy and who do not choose their words carefully  while interacting with others.

I have suffered physical injuries. I met with a car accident and fractured my right leg which healed in 6 months time. Anyone with a fractured bone will understand the pain before you are operated to hold the bones together.  A strong man that I am, I did not feel any pain then.

However, all the words that people have spoken to me at work or on personal front in the past whether intentional or not that were meant to criticize or belittle me in presence of others, still continue to haunt me even today.

Ever since I started reading self-help books, I am self-aware of the importance for managers/leaders to choose the right words when they address their team. I worked as a Project Manager managing large teams and I understand the importance of words of encouragement that my team expected to hear when there are ambitious deadlines to be met. Every  time I said ‘You can do it’ – my team always delivered. These were just simple words and the rest was my teams own hard work and ability.

Quite often it is not the words that were spoken, but it is those words that were never spoken, those words that could have healed even your physical injury, those kind words you did not get to hear from people whom you cared for the most or people who choose to remain silent or ignored you when you needed them the most – will hurt you as well.

I have two choices.  I could just ignore what people say or just give it back to people who offend me. But my brain is wired in such a way that I can’t do either of them. I avoid any confrontation which hurts both.

I have found my own way to heal wounds that were caused by unkind words said to me. I say affirmations like ‘I am a good human being’, ‘I love myself and I am fine the way I am’ etc to heal the mental wounds. I am training my sub-conscious mind to feel positive about myself.  This will take some time, but I will get there.

There is a reason why it is often said that we must choose the words we speak. If all of us did that, the world will be a much better place to live




15 thoughts on “Sticks and stones can hurt – so can words

      1. I just glanced at their website, and their information seems to be spot-on. The reasons they listed for the tiger’s decline in India are the same reasons I’ve been reading about in all the scientific papers: poaching (mostly for Traditional Asian Medicines), habitat loss and fragmentation, and the lack of enforcement in protected areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This was written amazingly well! I can really relate to almost everything that you’ve said. I’ve tried and failed a few times with the positive affirmations because I don’t really believe what I’m saying will make any difference. But I know I’m really going to try again because I know it’s helped so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

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