There are 2 mistakes that one can make along the road to truth,
Not going all the way and not starting

~ Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C ~

The Honesty Path

Beware the power of your negative words

Is it true, is it nice, is it necessary?

If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. 

We’ve all heard these sayings. So why don’t we listen to them? A lovely friend recommended I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and I am now seeing blog posts up everywhere on the power of our words. I think we could all benefit from saying less negative things about others and more positive things. 

If we know firsthand how powerful the spoken word can be through someone having called us names in the past, why do we still choose to do this to others? It may be the case of having a few drinks and losing your inhibitions, but this doesn’t make it right. 

The world is diverse, full of people with different beliefs, passions and values. We are bound to run into someone who rubs us the wrong way, or has a different value system to us. So why then do we feel the need to criticise and put this person down? Why do speak negatively about these people behind their backs, call them names and build invisible walls? Because it boosts us up, that’s why. It lowers them and raises us in our mind, creating a mental hierarchy of who is the better person. That’s how powerful words can be. 

Imagine if you walked into a cafe wearing your favourite pants and you heard someone behind you calling you a tart or some other derogatory name, you would feel hurt, yes? Hard done by that they are judging you based solely on the clothes you are wearing, on your outer appearance. But I bet you have done the same at some point. Or you walk into a room of so called strangers who look you up and down, because someone along the way spoke badly of you. These people have decided they don’t like you based on someone else’s opinion.

All I ask is if you wouldn’t like it done to you, please don’t do it to others. I’m no angel in this piece, I have said harsh words about others before that I’m not proud of but I’m making an effort to be aware of it now. 

If we can become more aware each day of the power our words can have on others, we may start thinking twice before speaking. Start to accept peoples differences instead of using them against that person, realise the negative words we use against others do damage. Not just to the person they are aimed at, but also to all people who hear them. 

If we wouldn’t want someone to judge us and tell all their friends about what they only see on the surface, then make sure you don’t do it to others. 

Be aware that voicing your negative opinions of people to others stops them being able to form their own true idea of who that person is. Words are powerful things and that snide comment you make could stain the mind of another, spreading negativity like a virus. If it isn’t nice, don’t say it. If you wouldn’t like others to speak unkindly (and perhaps unfairly) about you, don’t do it to others. Let your friends and family form their own opinions of people, rather than be swayed by the negative things you have to say. But on the other hand, if your words are kind and come from the heart – go for it!

Make a goal to say less negative and more positive words about others. Catch the criticising words you want to say before you have the chance to speak them, and think about the impact they will have. And before you do speak – ask if it’s true, necessary and kind. And if it isn’t, perhaps keep quiet. 

What are some of the positive things you try to say to others? Or how have you gone about saying less negative things to/about people? Spread the word in the comments section below and let’s make this world a nicer place to cohabit in!

Stay honest 




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