The power of words got used by many smart men and women throughout history to get what they want. Here the naked truth how you can use it too
Urban myth that up to 75% – depending on the source – of our communication is non-verbal. ( Wikipedia nonverbal communication); That would leave just 25% to verbal, spoken communication. The distribution of percentage aren´t exactly true and a one-size-fits-all, just think of a telephone call!
While you can hear a persons facial expression through a phone call, you won´t be able to judge the transfered message by the body language. You can try the first one by constantly smiling on the phone next time you talk to a beloved person and ask the other one after the call how she thought you looked while speaking.
Probably the best and most emotional example of the power of words
Science of words
We are all playing a language game, as German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein would put it. The good thing is, there aren´t winners or losers in this game, and we all are able to participate for free. However, it´s on us if we want to play fair or put our words in good powerful use.
Think of the great speakers of the past milleniums enchanting the crowd with their eloquence and tonal expression. They used exaggerations and ambiguous but highly emotional wording to lead the crowd to do what they want. Unfortunately not always for the good as history shows us.
Beside the spoken word there is one more way to communicate. You may heard of that urban myth that up to 75% – depending on the source – of our communication is non-verbal. That would leave only 25% to verbal, spoken communication. The distribution of percentage aren´t exactly correct though and a one-size-fits-all, just think of a simple telephone call!
While you can „hear“ a persons facial expression through a phone call, you won´t be able to judge the transfered message by the body language. You can try the first one by constantly smiling on the phone next time you talk to a beloved person and ask the other one after the call how she thought you looked while speaking.
Do others hear what you what to say?
While we can say good things in an angry voice or vice versa the message needs to be transported in a perfectly clear manner and reach the other person on the right „ear“. That means, a casually uttered comment about a specific situation or person can trigger a totally different reaction in the opposite when it gets misinterpreted.
According to the „Four sides model“ from German psychologist and communication expert Friedemann Schulz von Thun, we receive a message with 4 different ears. The four ears are called fact, self-revealing, relationship, and appeal.
Matt and Jill are in a car, Matt drives, Jill says „Be careful the traffic light turns to red“
How can that be received by Matt?
Side 1 – Fact: He perceives it as a simple statement, a fact. No emotions in this interpretation. It´s just explaining a situation.
Side 2 – Self-revealing: Jill wants Matt to be careful and stop the car. She reveals herself as worried he won´t be able to brake in time.
Side 3 – Relationship: This is the emotional one. Matt either receives this message as worried, distrusting, or as a friendly reminder to be careful e. g. she don´t want him to get a ticket
Side 4 – Appeal: This works like an order or an instruction to do (or not do) something right now.
This situation shows the importance of a mindful communication with an increased emphasis of making the message understandable as easy as possible. Without contemplating the conversation with mindful attention, the ingestion could misinterpreted by the receiver.
Beside talking to others, we can also use words to empower ourselves by a positive internal dialogue. With this method we adroitly use our linguistic abilities to direct our thinking towards increased self-awareness, positivity and gratitude.
The power of words in affirmations
Professional athlests visualize the procedere they are about to exectute. As for us common people, we can use another technique to live our lifes in a more sophisticated manner. We use affirmations.
An affirmation is basically a slogan or a motto we constantly repeat until it became true to us. An example could be „I´m a strong and power woman and I deserve the best life possible“. Such an affirmation would perfectly fit to a woman to empower her self esteem and develop self respect in the process.
„Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.”
― quote Tia Walke
The idea is to install a new thought pattern in your subconscious mind, triggering a paradigm shift of how you perceive a situation. It leads our attention to the things we teach our mind to be important.
The conclusion is that we need to be extra careful with the power of words, voice modulation and tone, as as well with our body language. All of that together should be the basic foundation for a mindful exchange with others as well as with ourselves. Words help us create our world, so lets speak positive to make it a better one.