Most of us witnessed the impact a simple word can have on a person. Actually, most of us, at one point in time, were at the receiving end. As a graduate in Language & Literature, I got to dive deep into the artistic use of words to create a linguistic journey and how a simple word can literally make or break something.
"A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress” – Dr. Andrew [Author of ‘Words Can Change your Brain’]
As students, we communicate with a lot of people every day. Our friends, colleagues, teachers, relatives and even strangers from time to time. We hear & read opinions, suggestions, criticism, advice, judgments, appreciation and so on. The amount of words we process daily is uncountable. It then ultimately falls on “how” do we process them.
How do we lessen the impact of a negative word.
How do we process constructive criticism?
And so on…
The way you process words, your reaction to that, ultimately creates the outcome.
Take the word “stupid” as an example scenario and its impact on two different students.
Student A would believe that it’s actually a trait of him/her while student B would consider it as mere throw of word. The outcome? Student B walks by without being affected in a matter of seconds while student A spends days, maybe weeks, overwhelmed with that thought.
Professor Susan Smalley mentions in her article “The Power of Words” how words are like living creatures, capable of spreading, growing, changing and impacting the whole world:
“I never thought about a word being 'alive' but then I thought of words spoken 3,000 years ago, written down and passed through many generations, and they seem quite alive when read or spoken today, having lived 3,000 years”
Words live forever. Yet, we are strong enough to control them.
This may just be a reminder to some of you, even a reminder to myself from time to time, that we should always try to take control in processing words – it’s not easy, but as cliché as it sounds, practice makes perfect.
Graduate from University of Bahrain