All of the words

All of the words to choose

And anger picked up those ones

All of the words to choose

And defence threw that absolute bomb in return

All of the words to choose

I wish I had chosen more wisely

Now all of the words to use

Have fallen silent

*Right word, right place, take the time, choose wisely. Words are either powerful connectors, or lethal alienators, and changing just one word in an entire email can make all the difference to how it is received.

I get busy and thoughtless, so I’ve had times that I have regretted a “send”. I’ve also received emails and letters that have been unnecessarily aggressive, particularly from government departments. These are standard letters, and I cringe to think how ratepayers and citizens are opening these missives, and feeling affronted by the words they contain.

People often take a check of their communications for spelling or punctuation but fail to take it that one step further. A quick scan for the energy implications of an email, as well as thinking how it might be received, can invite better relationships. And whether for work or personal reasons – great relationships make for a more enjoyable life.

I have felt the impact lately of how a badly wrought email can cause me to want to react hastily (and negatively) in response. I think good communication skills are being lost beneath a welter of “I” focused technology and ways of conversing that are unnatural to the way we are designed. We are complex social animals, not robots, and yet increasingly our world is narrowing to shallow quick gambits which lack nuance and expression.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

Maya Angelou

I have a post it note to this effect on my desk, it says

“don’t be an idiot, never offer proof that you’re an idiot, and don’t ever let anyone else feel like an idiot either – check your words before they leave you”

You’re welcome – Me X

Our world is governed by a river of communication which flows through and around us all the time. Incorrect communication leads to blockages and impediments that stem the flow of life, causing things to become far more difficult and unworkable then they otherwise could be.

Poor communication, and too much of it is at the heart of much of modern day stress. I’m looking forward to a week-end away from emails. I hope you have the same.

And furthermore on words, other posts, older ones:

Strangling Words

11 thoughts on “All of the words

  1. With age, I’ve gotten further from the snarky comebacks and needling comments. There’s no reason for them and nothing is ever gained except some self satisfaction that bleeds over to the negative side of things. I should write myself a note for my desk too.

    • Oh I have several notes on my desk Jeff. Apparently when we react quickly it is because we are using the Neanderthal part of our brain, but when we allow space and think further then we are using the more evolved part of the brain. Results prove this to be true I have found anyway. And it gives me a mental picture of some grog roaring when I feel the twitch to react quickly and without thinking it through 🫣🤭🫠hey I just found a heap of new emojis, my phone must have updated, now I have to go and check them out, I love emojis

  2. I received a letter from a government official the other day.
    It was written in capitals.
    How dare he shout at me.
    I didn’t shout back.
    He had the power!

    • IN CAPITALS??!! I hate the shouty types Granny. Do you know I once heard that in the US they had difficulty getting returning soldiers to sign up for ongoing financial aid. The department enlisted the aid of a communications expert who swapped one word – from you are “entitled” to you have “earned” and 30% more soldier signed up. Words are incredibly important.

  3. Electronic communication just can’t capture things fully, despite emojis. The irony, though, is that for some of us, we prefer writing to actual speaking.

    Anyway, your post brought Rumi’s 3 gates of speech to mind:

    “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
    At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?”
    At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”
    At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?””

    • Rumi says it beautifully Yacoob. I prefer writing because there are no awkward pauses and silences when writing that I feel compelled to fill with words, instead we can take our time and be far more reflective and thoughtful. I guess the challenge then is to take that into speech – a terribly difficult thing to do.

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