You do not know the strength of words until you have heard a few things that really affected you deep inside. It is very rare that you meet people who actually think before they speak and you wonder whether or not they are actually using their brains. Words coming from people you barely know really don’t affect as much as words coming from people you very well cherish.
Let’s say, for example, that you put on some weight. You go to work and a silly male coworker who is known to have constant word-vomit comes to you and says, “are you pregnant or are you just fat?” You could very easily ignore it and never think of it again. If you were in the same situation with one of your close friends who says something less obscene such as, “you’re packing on some weight, aren’t you,” you would probably take it to heart. Why is that? Do you not expect to hear the truth from your friend or should she have known better.
And you know what’s worse? Mothers. I think it’s because we know that mothers are telling the truth so if they see a mistake in us and they can’t love us as we are then, who will?!
The reason I wrote this today isn’t to discuss whether you should or shouldn’t say the truth or how to give your opinion without hurting the recipient, it’s because I was put in a situation with someone I barely knew and she answered me in a very respectable manner I had to compare her with my once-close-friend who basically broke my heart the last time we spoke.
Alright so years ago, when we were still trying to figure out who we were and who we wanted to keep as friends and were going through different phases in our life, I had a close friend who I cared for very much. To this day, I don’t know what falling out happened between us but we started drifting apart. Before I realized that she no longer wished we were friends, I would call her every once in a while and see how things were. She didn’t really put an effort into maintaining our friendship and apparently had other things on her plate. So one day, my phone rings and it was her. I pick up
Friend: Hello? Who’s this?
Me: Hi friend’s name. How are you
Friend: Oh sorry I called by mistake, bye.
And that was literally the last thing I heard from her. I sometimes wonder to this day why she didn’t have the decency to carry on the phone conversation for a few minutes and act like she really called me to ask how I was doing. I replayed the conversation with so many alternatives and couldn’t understand why she didn’t taste her words before spitting them out. It made no sense and I never called her back.
Yesterday I got a missed call from an acquaintance. Someone I saw twice in my life and who seemed like a respectable woman. I couldn’t find the time to call her back yesterday so I chose to call her back today when the time was right. This was the type of relationship I had with her, one that I have to wonder if the time was right to call. The conversation went as follows:
Acquaintance: Hello, Bedoor
Me: How are you doing Mrs. X. I got a missed call from you yesterday and just had the chance to call back
Acquaintance: I think I may have called you by mistake. But it’s a great opportunity to hear your voice
Me: It’s alright
Acquaintance: (something along the lines of may we always meet in goodness).
Me: Hopefully. Thank you, bye.
Now THAT’s a respectable woman. After all these years, I stand by my thinking that my friend could have handled the situation differently.
Words can build sky scrapers and move mountains, words can destroy confidence and personalities, and words can definitely be thought of before being blurted out.
Think before you speak.