ELEVEN: The Weight of a Word

What do you call a sentence that could hurt you? A punchline


Words. A creation of human kind plucked out of thin air a long time ago to communicate when there was a giant, vicious, man-eating lizard nearby (I assume, that is and always will be the most logical explanation), and warn the other cavemen and women to high tail it outta there. Nowadays, words serve more purposes than I can count. They can relay information and educate others, they can help us express our thoughts and feelings, they can be used to praise a good effort, or criticise a poor one. They can bring us up, but they can also bring us crashing back down to earth.

The latter is something we should consider more, words literally have the ability to make or break our day. If you really simplify the fine art of verbal communication, it comes down to what combination of sounds, clicks and grunts comes from someone’s mouth, and how we process, interpret, and respond to what is said. When you think about it, the difference between the weight of a word falling on us like a snowflake or a full blown avalanche comes down to how we choose to accept it.

Let’s have a think for a minute; when was the last time someone said something that hurt your feelings? Who was it? What did they say? What was it about them that upset you?

In my unqualified opinion, and based on my own experiences, there are a couple of reasons why something that has been said might not sit well with me;

  1. I’ve just been hit with a harsh reality that my ego refuses to acknowledge (“you need to accept that Emma Watson has no idea who you are” pfft whatever)
  2. Because it is exacerbating a negative perception I have of myself
  3. Because I have allowed the unwarranted opinion of someone I couldn’t give two shits about slip through the cracks of the very brittle paper armour around my glass heart.

Look, there are a dozen reasons why something said might hurt our feelings, which in itself is an awful reality to consider. But what I want to stress today is that the extent of that hurt, the true weight of what we have heard, will only be felt as much as we allow it to. When we hit ourselves with some cold, hard reality, we accept that not everyone is going to like us. And, believe it or not, that is a great thing, because that is how we discover who our close friends are, who the people are that we can rely on. Let’s face it, the best friendships are built upon a mutual hatred for another person hobby or interest!

I am by no means an expert at not giving a shit about other people’s opinions. I am a sensitive little creature, words hurt me always. BUT there are a few things I like to consider when I find myself going “wow, my precious feelings are now hurt”, and it’s this

  1. Do I have a good relationship with this person?
  2. If I do, is this person saying this with their best intentions at heart?
  3. When I think logically, do I actually believe that what the person is saying is true?
  4. Would I go to this person for support or advice about a personal matter?
  5. Does this person think pineapple belongs on pizza?

If I consider these questions, and the answer to them is no, then I am perfectly within my right to mentally tell myself to take that little vocabularic jab, scrunch in up into a little ball and send it TO THE MOON. IT HAS NO PLACE HERE.

Us members of the Timmunity stand united as one (because there is one of us) and proudly proclaim;

“If I would not welcome you to my home, I will not welcome you to my brain”

If something is said by someone that I would not enjoy spending any time with, then I sure has hell am not about to let them frolic though the Garden of Eden that is my beautiful mind. Remember kids, your brain is your very own personal radio station, you are the only one that has a say on who gets to be on your show.

Yep, I just referenced an old blog post. I am now that guy. Your criticisms will be OUSTED, I will only accept PRAISE for this.

Life is full of challenges, and we will never be able to avoid not letting the words of others bother us. Sometimes we need to be told things we don’t want to hear to help us grow, and learn, and become the best version of ourselves. Sometimes you gotta dump some really stinky fertiliser to produce those top quality flowers. But we owe it to ourselves to consider what is being said, how it is being said and why it’s being said. I will flip the coin another week and we can consider why assholes say asshole things, but for now put on your big black shades and block out tha haters. You ain’t carrying their dumb opinions with you all day, that’s exhausting and unnecessary.

So before I release you back out into the wild, there is one other thing I want you to consider this week, because we’re all guilty of doing it, even me. Yep, even me, shocking I know. Let’s start putting as much weight on the good things people say as we do the negative. Yeah, I know, easier said (lol) than done, but let’s do a little less dismissing and a little more admissing? I don’t know, there’s something there.

The letter of the week is v, for positive words are just as valid as negative, so we should be giving them the same amount of attention at the VERY LEAST

Alright then, another week in the bag. Off you go, eat your veggies, drink plenty of water, tell your Ma you love her, and have a mentally healthy week!

Positive people have negative thoughts, they just don’t let those thoughts grow and destroy them

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