We have a young nephew who grunts to communicate. It’s cute, sure, but frustrating! His mom knows that he is trying to get something across, but as he gets older, his needs go beyond food and diaper change and she has no idea what he is trying to communicate. She encourages him “Use your words!”
This goes for kids and adults. We were given this amazing gift of speech. It can let us express ourselves, ask for help, compliment others, and so on.
Speech has the power to build and the power to destroy. Sometimes we abuse it, misuse it, or withhold it, trying to make a point.
Using speech destructively is abusing the gift we were given. When we think about destructive use of speech, we think insults, being cutty, judgmental, and rude. We all know about these and I like to think that as adults we are mature enough to refrain from doing these for the most part.
But there is another destructive abuse of speech that we don’t often think about but we all do it…the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is the craziest thing humans have invented.
Sure, silence has its merits, and it is better to say nothing than to say something rash. But after the heat of the moment has gone, and we’ve cooled down, prolonged silence is not going to get your point across. Think about what you want to say and use your words!
“But if you loved me, you’d know what I’m thinking.” That’s nuts. No one is going to read your mind, no matter how much they love you. Again, think about what you want to say. Make it clear. And use your words. Constructively.
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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