The Way of Words
"Why the heck did you shoot that ball?!"
"Don't do that! Didn't you hear me?"
"You lost this for us."
"You're the worst player on this team."
"You better play better next time."
"You're the freshmen; you pick them up."
Do you hear the tone of voice in these examples? Snarky. Ugly. Hurtful.
Words are powerful. More powerful than we can sometimes realize with how many words are said in a day whether they're our own or the ones we hear from others around us.
Behind every single one of those words are beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. They can easily be the result of pride, anger and fear, and a huge factor of verbal and emotional abuse, even in the slightest. Or, words can be a part of healing and helping.
When was the last time you caught yourself saying something that tore someone down or was just not filled with grace? It can happen in the blink of an eye and it can happen even when our intentions are otherwise.
The root of hurtful words is a "me first" attitude. Yeah, we may have been hurt by someone else, but nothing graceful and beneficial to others exists with this attitude. The next time you catch yourself about to complain, be snarky or lash out on someone, take just a second extra to think how you can change your attitude and therefore your words.
A very simple tweak can make all the difference in the world...
"Hey, instead of shooting that, next time look for a pass to the inside."
"You may not have heard me. Do you remember the other option?"
"It was a team effort tonight. No one play cost us the game."
"I know it's been a rough season for you. Is there any way I can help?"
"Keep practicing hard at this. You'll get better each time."
"Fellow seniors! Let's help pick everything up."