We all know how much of an impact our thoughts and words have on us. They can make or break us, and they have the power to influence our feelings. I made an observation yesterday that I have noticed others doing, even myself!
Have you ever noticed that when we are talking, we tend to use the word “you” when talking about ourselves? I do this all the time without realizing it, but yesterday I caught myself and made some interesting observations about it.
What I Said
I was feeling upset and angry about something that happened yesterday and I was talking with my neighbor about it. Referring to my rough day, I told my neighbor, “It makes you feel so lost.”
I used the word “you,” but I didn’t mean you as in my neighbor that I was talking to, I meant you as in me. Confusing, right!? I have observed this way of talking many times, but never placed much thought into it until now.
How It Feels
When we use “you” to describe ourselves, it feels as if we are almost distancing ourselves from that feeling. It’s as if we are not taking ownership of our thoughts and feelings and we are using the word “you” to keep the feeling separate from us.
Some people may use the word “you” about themselves purely out of habit, and some might use it as a way of subconsciously pushing the emotion away from themselves.
The Power of Using “I” or “Me”
Just out of curiosity, for the remainder of the day, I was careful about referring to myself as anything other than “I” or “me.” When I was sharing any of my feelings, I noticed that it felt like I was sharing a piece of myself versus just casually talking about a feeling. It felt powerful and it felt like I was owning my feelings.
Expressing emotions is an even bigger relief as I felt that I was truly expressing myself by referring to myself in the right language context. I know that this sounds funny, but words do hold so much power. The slightest change to a word can bring about a whole new feeling and meaning.
We Don’t Realize
As we go about our busy lives, sometimes we don’t realize our habitual way of talking, we don’t realize what a difference it makes to change our verbiage and how much our word choices affect us.
Imagine you and Friend A are talking, and they come up to you and say, “days like this make you feel so helpless, it’s like you don’t even know who you are anymore.” You will still be able to offer your friend sympathy of course, but taking the personal context out of the sentence, creates distance between you and the other person.
Now imagine Friend B saying this: “days like this make me feel so helpless, it’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.” Which friend do you feel a stronger connection with? Which friend do you feel more empathy towards?
Try it Out
Think about the individuals that you are speaking to as well, they will feel more connected to you when you are speaking directly from your heart, words and all. As you go about your day today, try to see what an impact certain words have on your communication and your overall mood.
The words we choose and how we say them have so much importance to us and to those that we communicate with. The smallest word can have a profound difference in what you are trying to say and how others will relate to you. Never underestimate the power of words!