Recognizing the Power of Words
Recently I was reminded of just how powerful our words can be. Words are like incantations that we use to put others, and even ourselves, under spells. As someone who is frequently in a leadership position, I am always astounded by how my words can become like catch phrases that others repeat. This awareness has led to me becoming more conscious of what I say and how I say it.
In the book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says that our words simply are a way we create spells for people. With words people can empower and uplift their children, their partner, or a whole a community. In Don Miguel’s works he advises people to be conscious of their words, to truly know the meaning of their words, and the way in which they impact the relationships we have with others and the world.
When you think about the relationships you have with other people, consider the level of love you show by how you talk about others. In the work of Drs. John and Julie Gottman, they found that for every 7 negative things said to a partner, the spouse/partner will get sick once that year. They refer to this as the 7:1 ratio.
When I came across these scientific findings I was not all surprised. Our words even carry the power to alter molecular structure. Dr. Emoto proved this with his work using water crystals. The water crystals that had loving words spoken to them were beautiful; the crystalized water that had been spoken to harshly was incomplete and twisted.
The Gospel of John says, “In the beginning was the Word.” To me, this means that everything begins with words, or rather with the vibration of our voice itself. If you commit to using words to bless and love your partner, imagine what kind of relationship you could have. If you put your focus on loving your partner with words, what can you give them?
In a study done over some years, psychologists took two groups of students: one group was the top students in the school, the other group was academically and behaviorally the worst. The teachers were told to tell the students that were ‘bad’ that they were good. The teachers were told to praise these students and give them lots of compliments. Similarly, teachers were directed to tell the students that were ‘good’ that they were not so good and that their grades were falling behind. What do you think happened?
You guessed it! The students that were ‘bad’ became great students. Their grades went up, their behavior got better, and their self-esteem dramatically improved. Meanwhile, the students that used to be good became more troublesome, their grades fell, and their self-esteem dropped.
If the words of a teacher have so much power over students, if the words of a scientist have so much power over water, imagine the power you have with your partner. If you want to create your ideal relationship, start with your words, your vibrations. Speak lovingly to your partner to build them up, to increase their own success, even to improve their immune system. If you show gratitude, gentleness, and warmth to your partner, they will return it. How can you lose?