Insight 2024

Hurtful Potential of Your Words 

The influence of words extends beyond mere communication, shaping our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. The way we articulate and convey our words possesses the ability to construct or dismantle realities, even though they lack physical substance. The effects of toxic words can render individuals physically, emotionally, and mentally lifeless.

 Toxic words leave devastating impacts on young minds especially during the formative years, a crucial stage where parents wield significant influence and control over their wards. Unfortunately, these negative words at this tender age could wreak havoc well into adulthood on self-perception, self-esteem, self-doubt, and one's impression of one's place in the world.

A recent leadership series held a few months ago spurred a fresh recollection of past events and experiences of a Nigerian comedian and Professor, Helen Paul. Being a survivor of the evil of mind-shattering words and treatments, her narrative of a challenging upbringing, marked by soul-crushing negativity and a lack of love struck a strong chord with me. 

Drawing from my encounters and those of friends in my close circle, the firsthand knowledge of the profound impact of such traumatic experiences resonates strongly. The scourge of harmful words and emotional neglect is a widespread concern, haunting the minds of young individuals in numerous households.

 While a few people like me and others I know have been lucky to scale through this evil by exploring some other options for self-reconciliation, positivism, and progress, some have been profoundly affected and completely shattered. 

Unfortunately, society tends to downplay and underestimate the significance of the harmful effect of verbal bullying in shaping a better world. A society devoid of love and peace is a breeding ground for hatred, evil, depression, and various other social ills.

As part of the solution, promoting positive communication, creating a supportive atmosphere, and nurturing healthy self-esteem are crucial elements that could assist young minds as they navigate complex social spaces. Moreover, establishing a supportive and nurturing environment is important to foster the emotional well-being of children and adolescents for personal growth.

It is imperative to acknowledge that individuals at any stage of life can overcome the impact of negative experiences and go on to lead fulfilling lives. It is also noteworthy to state that as members of society, we bear the responsibility to cultivate positivity in our lives and the lives of others, spread love, and refrain from being the cause of others' struggles.

Facilitator, DHI

(January, 2024)