If you’ve never heard or listened to anything I’ve ever said, please listen to these next words. Words matter.
We fail to understand the impact of our words. We use them to hurt people or to express anger, and fail to realize the wounds they cause are very real and sometimes lasting.
Here are the five things that we say in expressing frustration, anger, or disappointment that we don’t mean.
- I don’t care. Just the very fact that you said, “I don’t care” means that you care. This is a statement of frustration to which there is almost never a positive response. You do care. Express that you do and why you’re upset in positive, simple words.
- It doesn’t bother me. Again, this is like the first. The moment you say it doesn’t bother you, you’re expressing that it bothers you.
- I just can’t take this anymore. The truth is, you can take a lot more than you think you can. This is another way of expressing the urgency of what you feel about the moment. But if it really is true you can’t take it anymore, it cuts off conversation.
- I just wish I were dead. This is the verbal equivalent of throwing a bomb in the middle of a crowd. How do you respond to that? Are you serious? Should I take you seriously? If I don’t, and you actually commit suicide, how are we going to feel?
- I’ll never be able to trust again. We all understand that it is hard to face betrayal, but we also understand that healing can take place and you can come to a place where you can trust again. Maybe the next time it will be trust and verify, instead of trust and walk away.