Happy Words

THE Relationship Blog

Let’s say that words have energy. Let’s say that when we use certain words, certain frequencies are attached to said words. Some words have a positive charge and some have a negative charge. Then, for the sake of this post, we can also look at words that we use on a daily basis that have that energetic impact on us. What are some of the terms we use all the time that affect us on an energetic level?

Is this too fluffy for you? Perhaps we can change the term energy to semantic processing. In other words, certain words are semantically processed in different ways. For example, if your employer calls your performance ‘adequate’, how do you feel about that? The word means that you have met the expectations. It is not a word of failure but does it really feel like a winning term? No, it doesn’t. ‘Adequate’ is a word that we semantically process as meaning that you are ‘barely average’. You are not exceptional. You are not good. You are meh.

Now, let’s look at words that we use on a daily basis that are processed in a negative manner. Some words we use on a daily basis are ‘resigned’ or ‘resignation’. In context, we use these terms when we are in a crisis or negative situation that is causing stress and we ‘resign’ ourselves to the outcome. Another term we can use is ‘surrender’. The word resignation is defined as ‘acceptance of despair’ while ‘surrender’ is defined as ‘cease resistance’. So, which one has the better energy or semantic processing?

Whether we know the actual definition or not, we subconsciously choose the language that describes our underlying feelings. This is often seen in what we term ‘victim speak’. People who operate as victims of life will invariably choose language that promotes and maintains their air of victimhood. They are resigned to things. They have to go to work. Someone made them do something. The language is not incorrect but the energy it conveys is solidly founded in victimhood.

We have often discussed the victim mentality on this website and how it negatively affects relationships and it bears repeating every few months. Being a victim is the antithesis to being in a healthy relationship. Victims have nothing to give in a relationship and their participation results in an imbalanced power paradigm which can only evolve into the Victim Triangle. Victims seek abusers/persecutors and rescuers. This game is so destructive that few people can come out of it unscathed.

When you hear victim speak, how do you react? We mentioned how the brain worked yesterday while discussing attitudes. In cognitive dissonance theory it is maintained that people try to avoid discomfort and we are motivated by the constant reduction of competing thoughts in our heads. We can’t handle wishy-washy. We crave black and white thinking. When we hear someone speaking in terms that we don’t like, we immediately stop liking the person. Our brain warns us that their words are challenging or causing dissonance in our minds. So if we are fine with victim speak, it is because we probably speak that way too!

Ultimately, changing your speech can rewire your brain. This is the basis of Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP). In other words less fancy, stop the negative talk and you will change your brain positively. See, that’s not so hard, right? (If you really want to change, you get to answer ‘right’ here).

One comment

  • This is interesting because just this week I’ve been trying to concentrate more on semantics when I’m speaking to my kids. I’m trying to make sure I am using words that are effective when I am frustrated and not condescending in any way. Thanks for this!

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