Words Have Meaning

“Language creates reality. Words have power. Speak always to create joy.” Deepak Chopra

“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.” Buddha

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” William Shakespeare

“Words have magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the deepest despair.” Sigmund Freud


There are certain words in the vocabulary that could be more problematic. Among them are words like “she, should, have to, you, you better, hey you, them, they,” and additional words. Of course, whether words are inappropriate depends on context. For example, a mother dealing with a child who is being difficult because they refuse to put their toys away may angrily respond by saying, “you better put those toys away.”

These words may seem harmless, but they have significant implications for communication. For example, “should” implies an expectation or obligation, which can create pressure or guilt. The word “should” is usually problematic for an individual when they tell themself, “Well, I should do this.” The word is problematic for a person who thinks they should because they feel guilty because of the mistaken belief that there is no choice.

“Have to” can also convey a sense of obligation or requirement, which may not be necessary or helpful in certain situations.”You” and “they” can be problematic because they can lead to generalizations or assumptions about individuals or groups. In addition, the pronoun “you” may be accusatory.

I will never forget my grandmother saying that, “she is who the cat brought in. People use this expression to acknowledge that someone new has entered a room or space. The phrase usually implies that the entering person is disagreeable. However, people can also use it jokingly rather than simply being rude. 

It is important to be mindful of these words and consider alternative ways of expressing oneself to ensure effective and respectful communication.

More words are “Never, Always, must, “you better.”

Yes, words Matter. They are what we use to communicate. Whether verbally or in written form, words are the tools for language. From the time a small child learns to talk, the significance of words becomes clear. With that being said, words have power. They can inspire, motivate, or encourage. Yet, words can also cause harm. They can tear down, harass, and destroy, which is why being wise and thoughtful in the words we speak to each other and ourselves is so important.

The word “bitch” is interesting because it’s an example of the complexity of communication. My wife and I were people who owned many dogs throughout the fifty years of our marriage. In one case, we had our female purebred labrador retriever bred. It was jarring for me to hear the word “bitch” used by the breeder. Of course, the breeder, a woman, was referring to our female dog. I found it jarring because it is one of those words with a double meaning. In one context, the word is a curse, yet in another, it refers to a female animal.

On more than a few occasions during my work with married couples as a psychotherapist, I heard people use the words “always or never.” An individual may often think, “Well, that always happens to me.” It is unlikely that something will always happen to a person. It is also unlikely that a spouse always or never behaves in a certain way. These words can be accusatory, as in, “you always do this to me, or you never choose what I want. In another way, these words can be self-pitying. For example, if a person drops a glass that then breaks and they have the thought, “I’m always doing that,” they are engaging in a combination of self-pity and self-blame. 

Remember the quotations above: Words can bring joy, peace, happiness, or never go to heaven.



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