How to Keep Your Words From Boiling Over
Have you ever said something to someone you love that you wish you could have taken back? Have you ever hit the “send” button on your mouth (as opposed to on your computer) and immediately wished you could pull it back – but it’s out there? It’s too late? Believe me when I say you’re not alone. There is great danger when you encounter words boiling over.
The words we speak are the mouthpiece of our values and beliefs, and are the powerful instrument to either build up or tear down a relationship. One poorly chosen or ill-timed word can change the entire course of a relationship.
Words draw pictures in the mind of the receiver. Some are pictures of love, affection and understanding. Others lie flat and colorless on the canvas of our mind, and at times the picture blazes with the fires of anger and hurt.
Many of you have called my radio program over the years to describe how you’ve been hurt by words. As a result, you feel like your spouse doesn’t appreciate you, or your parents don’t have confidence in you, or your children don’t respect you. In most cases, those broad assumptions are really false because the person who spoke the words failed to apologize or acknowledge responsibility for what they’ve said, and the break in the relationship remains, as do the misconceptions. They’ve failed to recognize that words are powerful; they really do mean something—either good or bad—to those they love.
Four Questions to consider BEFORE You Speak:
- WHAT really needs to be said? When you are ready to speak to a person, consider what needs to be communicated.
- HOW should I say it? Be very intentional and focused on how to say it.
- WHEN should I say it? Timing is critical.
- WILL my words be understood and received well?