PEECH is the index of the mind,” (Seneca) so if you really want to get to know a person, let him/her talk! Although human beings have an ability to say the opposite of what they mean, their words (and actions) in general will give them away.
Listen and observe when a person is pleased. Take note of this person’s statement when told something which may be contrary to his/her views.
Which words were mentioned most of the time, and what feelings could be associated to them? How many times did you hear the words “children”, “basketball”, “friends”, “husband/wife”, etc.? Was the fondness or derision more evident in the intonation (and the facial expression)? “What the heart conceals, the tongue reveals”!
What are the verbal (and non-verbal) responses when this person is rejected and displeased? How about the reaction when you seem to complain about something or when you express an idea that is contrary to his/her idea? Are the words consistent and supported by actions?
When this person says a word or statement that clearly offends another person or a particular group of people, is he/she quick to justify those words or quick to ask for forgiveness? Does he/she at least do something to rectify the mistake?
Our choice of words is personal. Nobody can dictate to us which words to use, and how – but a person who lives and interacts in a society like ours ought to exercise his/her freedom of expression with care and sensitivity, with regard for other people’s feelings. Everything we say has the power to affect other people… and sometimes (as Robert Burton said), “A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword”.
Do our own words empower or do they drain our energy and the energy of the people around us?
May our words inspire and lead us to action. May our words be a life-giving fountain!
Like the Hope Boosters page for posts that inspire and equip! (Marilyn C. Arayata)