Lesson 33: Words hurt and leave deeper, longer-lasting scars

Have you ever heard the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me?”  Did you believe it?  There was a time when I thought I did.  Took a long time to realize that in reality, words cut so much deeper than anything physical.  Physical scars fade, but internal, emotional damage, that will always be there.  The worst part, it is so easy to do without realizing it or even knowing the full extent of the damage you are causing.

Words cannot be unspoken.  Once you say something, that is it.  It has been said and there is nothing that you can say or do afterward that will erase it.  Even worse, you will not likely see the full extent of the damage your words cause.  The damage is not usually visible unless you are paying close attention or are an expert at reading body language.  A large stretch of time may pass before you ever truly understand the consequences of your words.  Maybe you won’t ever see the results, but they will be there.

This is another case where sorry doesn’t cut it.  Words over time may heal, but not without actions to demonstrate that what was said was spoken without understanding the real implications of what was said.  Think before you speak.  If you don’t have anything either nice or constructive to say, don’t say it.  Maybe you get a momentary pleasure out of making someone feel bad, maybe it was an accident, it doesn’t matter.  The resulting damage will likely be the same.

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