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The Power of Words

March 13, 2011

Words are the building blocks of our communication with ourselves and others.  It is the means by which we exchange ideas, thoughts, desires, fears, needs, beliefs, etc. Negative words produce negative emotions.  Positive words produce positive emotions.  Let’s test it.  Think about debt, clutter, weight, divorce, death, bankruptcy, hatred, or betrayal.  How are you feeling?  Now think about abundance, order, beauty, freedom, fitness, health, vitality, faithfulness, and love. Do these words make you feel different? The challenge then is to use more positive words in our conversations, thoughts, and communications.  The words we use have programmed us and as we use new words we are changing the program.

Words also have ‘staying power’ both the negative and the positive.

Be careful what you put out into the universe because words have staying power.  Once implanted in someones heart or mind, they can grow there forever.  Everyone can recall without much effort a time in their lives when they were hurt by words.  For me, it was being called, “Fish Girl.” My dad had a fish market in Pennsylvania when I was between the ages of seven and twelve.  He would load up fish and produce in the truck and go door to door yelling, “Fresh Fish, Fresh Greens, Fresh Produce.”  Come and get your “Fresh Fish, Fresh Greens, Fresh Produce.”  On the surface it shouldn’t evoke painful memories, but it does.  You see when we weren’t out selling the fish, we were preparing the fish.  We couldn’t go out and play, have friends over, or have a normal childhood.  Most of our time was spent cleaning, scraping, and gutting hundreds of pounds of fish weekly.  The fish came in fifty pound boxes and my sisters and I had to stay up many nights getting the fish ready for sale the next day.  Our hands were cold and frozen and sore from being stuck and pricked by the fish fins.  If this weren’t enough, the kids would mock us to and from school.  They would throw things and us and call us “Fish Girls.”  Laughing at us saying that we smelled like fish.  Yes words can hurt, but words also can heal.  Unfortunately,  children learn the bad from their environment.  Realize that you are now a teacher and a role model for the children.  And, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2011 1:46 pm

    “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” ~ A very well written and thought-provoking blog.

  2. Brandy Hughes permalink
    July 29, 2012 4:07 pm

    Hi Mrs. Talley!

    I came across your blog during a web search on the power of words and communication ..!
    I hope all is well and that your daughter is doing ok ~ I got a chance to browse your website and found that you were into personal development. My dream job is to be a Curator, but I know that there is a. certain amount of leadership and assertiveness to have in order to be successful in that field. Do u have any suggestions for good assertiveness classes or seminars? Thanks ..! Brandy Hughes.

    • Barbara Talley permalink*
      October 15, 2012 12:55 am

      Hi Brandy. I’m just seeing this. Just give me a call.

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