“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Whoever came up with that phrase didn’t know what they were talking about!  Physical pain can often heal eventually.  However, words have the power to build up or destroy a person for a lifetime, especially if it isn’t addressed with a therapist.

The way we communicate verbally (and actually non-verbally, too) has a powerful effect on those you love.  Something as simple as replacing your “I’m sorrys” with “thank yous” can transform your self-esteem and build up the person you thank.

So how can this work with your relationships in marriage and family?

Think about the most simple of daily interactions.  For instance, when you meet at the end of a work or school day, you might ask, “How was your day?”  Typically, your spouse or child will follow with, “Fine” or “Pretty good.” 

However, with a little more intention, your words are more powerful. 

Next time, try this phrase.  “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” 

A phrase like this opens the conversation for more than a one word answer and gets the oxytocin in the brain flowing.  As a result, you will find your home a little more pleasant to live in and your relationships more healthy.

Give it a try and see if your words have more power and bring healing to others.  Leave the sticks and stones in the yard.