Sticks, Stones and Bones
Pitt County Family Development Corporation, Inc.   - Freeman Consulting Group

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Sticks, Stones and Bones

Stop!  Think Before You Speak:  Words Can Hurt
Ugly, fatso, stupid, fag, nappy, black, nerd, weird, bad, lazy, crybaby, dummy, loser, moron, sissy, chicken, etc.  What do these words have in common?  They are small words, with big implications.  They hurt!  Children were taught, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt.” However, they can surely break hearts.  The truth is, harsh and mean spirited words can be just as deadly to our self esteem as weapons drawn against us.
According to scriptures,  In Ephesians 4:19, Paul reminds us,  it is okay to be angry, but don't sin--don't use damaging words, condemn or tear down someone's self-esteem.  The sin doesn't lie in the expression of anger, but in the way we use it.  We can choose to express anger in healthy or unhealthy ways--in ways that heal or hurt.  There is a difference between getting angry and being an angry person.  When the expression of anger dominates our life and personality we are no longer a person with anger, but an angry person. 
Proverbs 12:18 says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Reckless words can rip the ones we love into pieces.  Words that build up and are patient, kind, good, gentle and loving create peace. 
James 3:2-12 says the human tongue can do so much damage. It can ruin friendships, cause misunderstandings and put a wall between brothers and sisters. We have all been guilty of saying hurtful things. We must be ever mindful that what we say can damage and cause divisions. Before speaking, remember; words can ruin. Words can damage; words can kill. Words can demolish reputations and destroy relationships.
Consequently, Stop! Think Before You Speak:  Words Can Hurt.  Below are a few suggestions to help you avoid saying something you might regret. 
·         Step back from the situation to help you to quiet your emotions.
  • Deep breathing can help to clear your mind.
  • Practice relaxing techniques.
  • Remain calm. 
  • Replace a negative image with a positive one.
  • Counting to ten
  • Walk away from the situation.
Remember the Golden Rule:  Do unto other as you will have others do unto you. Also as mom use to stay, "If you can't say anything good about a person, keep you mouth shut!"

10 Comments to Sticks, Stones and Bones:

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Ophelia on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:57 AM
Wow! You are so right. People that are torn down inside are usually the type of person that get enjoyment out of hurting others. So how does a person that is miserable inside learn to be tactful? Or just be nicer? Or they could honestly not know any better because they are from another country. A good example is my gma, she tells me I'm fat every single time I see her! She does it to strangers also. Our family gets so embarassed by it. I actually stopped visiting so much because of it. How Do you tell a person like that that they are hurting your feelings in a nice way? Especially a respected elder. Because like you said it can ruin an important relationship.
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Minerva D. Freeman on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 11:49 PM
Thanks for responding to my blog. It is difficult to express yourself to family members, especially when they are your elders and you have a deep emotional attachment to them. I feel that a calm and honest response is in order. Perhaps saying: "Grandmom, thanks for being concerned about my weight but you hurt my feeling when you only see my size instead of my worth. Can we agree from now on, my weight is off limits." Since she does it to everyone, perhaps you all can warn guest that this might be a topic of conversation and everyone just look over her comments with love. In other words, charge it to her head and not her heart. Remember, it is up to you to define yourself instead of others. Look in the mirror everyday and see a beautiful you.

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