We all know the rhyme, it's drummed into us from childhood as armour against others with the belief that it's only words and they can't hurt us. Yet if you hit someone, it may bruise but the bruise will heal. Words alter the autobiography of your soul and redefine how you see yourself.
So how apt that those that love us most are often the culprits in distorting who we are as they translate who we are into some tongue we can't decipher. Worse still, they don't even realise it.
How many of us are guilty of inadvertently undoing the work of building skyscrapers within our children reducing them to rubble?
When angry, frustrated or disappointed with one you love, think about what you say. Try and separate the person from the behaviour. The behaviour they can change, themselves they cannot. Only you can change a person, rewiring their soul with blunt trauma from words. It's so easy to to label the person when what we should be labelling is the behaviour. 'You stupid boy/girl!' instead of 'That was a really stupid thing to do' or 'You're so selfish and mean' rather than 'That was quite a mean thing to do, It was rather selfish.' It's not about pussyfooting around or pandering it's simple psychology.
If you tell someone they're something enough times, they'll start to believe it and thus become it.
Take the victim of domestic abuse who is routinely told they're useless, worthless and stupid they redesign their mentality into believing it and thus becoming it for if it wasn't true why would you keep saying it? Or the child victim of bullying who's constantly told they're fat, ugly, stupid and then start to skip meals and bloodlet at home, because it's been said so many time it must be true, they begin to hate themselves as much as they feel hated by others. Essentially, they become the labels they were given. Then there's the 'naughty' child, once told they're naughty enough times, they start to believe that is who and what they are and thus act accordingly to that label as they feel that is what's expected of them. You've already told them that's who they are and not merely what they do. Why would they not believe you? You can't fight what you are.
If intent on making somebody cry, it is far kinder to simply poke them in the eye.
So, be careful with your words and how you use them. Recognise their power to build and to destroy.
Next time you're reprimanding someone, label what they've done so that they may learn and change. Don't label who they are thus defining what they will become.