In my last post I quoted The World Peace Prayer Society and their statement about words…
“Words carry vibrations strong enough to inspire, heal and transform the human heart”
I know from experience and my work that words also can do the very opposite.
In our house, we have certain words that are not allowed, frowned upon or withdrawn and changed immediately. These are words that have negative connotations, may sound aggressive or are used to belittle, abuse, humiliate or bully.
One of these is the word STUPID. And there is a reason behind it. When I was little I was called stupid at least once a day.
When I first started primary school I was seated at the very front of the class by myself. I was right in front of the teacher and whenever she wanted me to understand something, she would shout at me and exaggerate her speech. If I didn’t understand what she said (as she was shouting at me and exaggerating her speech) I would say “Pardon?” and she would shout “Are you STUPID!?”
You can imagine what the other children did with this …..
I have a hearing impairment. It’s due to damaged nerve endings in my left ear. I’ve never let it disable me or stop me from doing anything. I was taught to lip read at an early age. And when people meet me, unless they are told, I don’t think they would know.
This particularly powerful word was condoned at home too and I grew up believing it. As an adult I spent a lot of my life running around collecting every piece of paper I could to prove that I wasn’t, in fact, stupid.
As a therapist and teacher I like to use very positive words and help people to change the labels that have been attached to them from the past.
Are there any powerful negative words that you never use? Are there powerful words that you hear everyday? Are there labels that you still carry that you’d like to be rid of? What labels are we giving to our own children?