Mind Your Words

We as human beings have many ways of communicating with each other…words, body language, facial expressions, actions, the way we dress, the way we walk, our overall presentation of ourselves to the world. So you see, there are many underlying reasons why I do the things I do. Getting dressed to feel good and present a positive image of myself to the world is important to me. It communicates that I have pride in myself, that I take care of myself so I can take care of the people in my life that need me. It communicates that I make an effort to participate in my life everyday and to actively contribute to the world.

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But aside from our physical presentation to the world, it is our words, whether written or spoken, that often are the most powerful of our communication methods. They can cause as much harm and pain as any aggressive or violent action. Words can cause as much confusion in interpretation as any puzzling facial expression or complicated body language. They can degrade, insult, berate, and break a person down. I know this because I have broken people with my words and I have been destroyed by the words of others. I understand the power that is held within the confines of our human language.

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But here is the magic of words….they also harness great power that can be used for good. Words can create joy and encourage peace. Words can change minds and belief systems. They can inspire, uplift, and empower. They can teach, advise, explain, and guide. Words can entertain, soothe, and heal.

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Part of why I blog is because I am passionate about words. I have always been fascinated and intrigued by linguistics and language. I have always been amazed at the way some people can so effortlessly weave words together to create miraculous tales of hope and strength. How some can use words to make people laugh and have healed through this laughter. I have always admired those who always have just the right words to console and comfort a person in a time of need. Words have always affected me in a very powerful way.

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I have had amazing therapists whom through talk therapy (words) gave me the tools I needed to find my way in this often cruel and brutal world. I have used journaling (words) as an outlet to release my pain and frustration. Since a very young age, reading (words) helped me find escape when I needed it most. And now blogging (words) is providing me with a creative outlet and a vehicle to reach out to people and offer them the positive, healing power of words.

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And one thing I have learned in my 42 years is to mind my words. I do have to continually remind myself to do this. But I am a work in progress just like everyone else. I recently stumbled upon a quote that I jotted down in an old journal. It is from Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, or, The History of Young Lady, published in 1748. I found it so appropriate for my blog that focuses on fashion and words, some 268 years later. “…for what are words but the body and dress of thought? And is not the mind indicated strongly by its outward dress?” Doesn’t that ring so true even now? So I like to deliver my words as an accurate reflection of my mind (just as I like to maintain my appearance as an accurate presentation of my all around health). I strive to be kind and sensitive to the struggles of others. I also want to do my part in uplifting and empowering people. And I always want to speak in truths. So I try really hard to always mind my words.

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For example, there are certain ways in which I phrase things that probably go unnoticed by many. I am going to share them with you here because I think they are so very important. The way we choose to present our words can change what we are really meaning to communicate. Here are two examples…

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When I offer a compliment on a person’s appearance or clothing, I will phrase it in such a way to mean that the person is always amazing and the fact they are wearing something is only enhancing the item they are wearing. I will not say that you look great in pink. To me, that means you look horrible when you wear another color! Rather, I will say pink looks great on you! Meaning, instead, that your fabulousness has enhanced the color pink! Another example, I won’t say that you look great in a particular outfit, but rather that the outfit looks great on you. Meaning that outfit was nothing special until special you chose it and added all of your specialness to it to make it great! Does this make sense? Words have power and tons of underlying meaning. And we need to be mindful of how we use them.

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Another example…when it comes to mental health issues, I will never refer to a person as their illness (including myself). I will never say that I am Bipolar. I am NOT Bipolar. I have Bipolar Disorder. It is only a tiny little part of me. It does not define me entirely. I would never call a person Schizophrenic. Rather, I would say they have schizophrenia (if it even required mentioning). If a person has cancer, we don’t call them Cancer. If you have the flu, you don’t say, “I am Flu.” That would be ridiculous. We need to mind our words especially when discussing such a sensitive topic as illness. The way in which we phrase our words can change the meaning dramatically if you really consider what you are trying to say. I hope I am being clear!

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So when you are speaking or writing or communicating with others, be mindful of what you say and the way in which you deliver it. It can make or break a person. And it can speak volumes about who you are! So, please, mind your words!

Outfit details:
Tee Shirt: C/O Style Art ($24.99) Worn previously on my blog here.
Jeans: Gap Factory Destructed Legging Jeans in White (currently on sale for $28.99)
Shoes: Cato Fashions (from last year)
Scarf: A very fake Hermes scarf that I have had for about 10 years less than forever. I think I bought it from a street vendor in NYC years ago. But I did find this interesting post about How to Spot a Fake Hermes Scarf (although I knew mine was a fake already but I was just curious)

Do you find words as important as I do? Do you use your words for the good of others? How are you mindful of your words?

Keeping it honest on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with: These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

48 Responses

  1. Enjoyed reading the post babe. And I love your look, very cute shoes!

    Adi xx
    http://www.fancycorrectitude.com

  2. Me too am quite interested in words, their meaning and the way their usage affects relationships among people … they change through years and the way they can be as sharp as a knife!
    I also have an extra problem with words … being not an English mother tongue … I have to think accurately before using them!!!
    You look cute, white is a fantastic colour!

    • Thanks so much, Dan, for the wonderful compliment! Not speaking English as your first language must make it extra difficult when communicating with those who only speak English. I never was very good at learning foreign languages, so you definitely have the advantage over me! And there is so much that people communicate through their mannerisms, their gestures, their tone, and their body language, too, which can totally by misunderstood. Human communication in general is a complicated and bewildering thing, for sure!

      Thank you so much for reading!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. Well said! Love those cute shoes and the scarf.

  4. Love this post. We need to be mindful of the words we use on ourselves and on others. That tee is super cute too!
    http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

    • Very great point, Robin! We definitely need to be mindful of the words we use when speaking to ourselves! It is so important to engage in positive self-talk! Thank you for stopping by!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. I love how you weave together some pretty thoughtful sentiments about the power of words along with your cute outfit. Thank you for linking up with the Blended Blog and as your shirt says “stay sassy”

  6. Words and speaking and language are totally things we take for granted. It’s all so is soo fascinating! I took some linguistic anthropology classes in college and have been interested ever since. Love your stay sassy tee 😉

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

  7. Such a fun and cute outfit! I especially love those shoes! I am huge fan of sneakers and slip on shoes. Thank you for joining my new linkup and hope to see you again next Friday!

  8. Cheeselover

    White looks great on you!

  9. Hi Shelbee… See this is what I enjoy about reading your posts…the authenticity if your thoughts. You are the real deal and when you have that indescribable “It” power then you can turn anything around to the light side! Keep on spreading the love and happiness and don’t let anyone ever bring you down with words. You are awesomejuice! LOL

    Hugs
    KaSonndra
    http://livewellbefabulous.com

    • Thank you so much, KaSonndra! That is the best compliment ever! And I don’t think I have ever been called awesome juice before, but I like it! I really, really like it! You are pretty awesome yourself, by the way!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. You’re exactly right that words can be so strong for both good and bad.
    I do think that it’s not always how we phrase a sentence though—it can also be how the other person perceives what we say—and that’s probably gained by other factors?
    I mean, you’re right that certain words or phrases are better than others, but I do think we can go overboard in analyzing them—and sometimes we can get too caught up in one little word.
    But let’s talk about your tee! Now there’s a message I can get behind!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Great points you are making, Jodie! Thank you for sharing them! Communication is definitely a two way street and there is how we communicate and how we interpret that also need to be considered, for sure. And isn’t this sassy shirt just the best?! Thanks for stopping by!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  11. I love your sassy shirt! Super fun and shows attitude!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

  12. Words are very important and we have to remember to talk nicely to ourselves too.
    http://tresfly.blogspot.com/

    • Very true, Jessica! We definitely need to always speak in a positive way to ourselves! Then the self-love just seeps out all around us and fills the world with love!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  13. Words can be misunderstood so easily! This is such an important reminder to be mindful of what we are saying! Your sassy tee is so fun! Love this cute look!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  14. Love your top Shelbee. Great look! Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop..

  15. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style

  16. Thanks for sharing this powerful post. Words can really make a difference. I love your casual look and adore these leopard sneakers!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    • Thank you, Kathrine! I am really glad I wrote this post! I think we all could use the friendly little reminder of how powerful words can be! Myself included. Writing it put me back on track to being more mindful as well! Thanks for stopping by and for the wonderful compliment!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  17. Words are indeed very powerful. I learnt so much from this post as sometimes I can be a little careless with the way I phrase my statement. I am working on being more conscious of my words.
    Thank you for linking up at #LinkPartyWithOsy
    http://www.stylediarybyosy.com/

    • Thank you, Osy! I think it is an issue we all have sometimes, myself included, where we get a little careless of how we speak. So I just thought a friendly little reminder would be helpful for all! Thanks for reading!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  18. I need to constantly remind myself to “mind” my words. I have a tendency to speak truthfully but sharply at times. As my grandmother use to tell me “closed mouth is the easiest mended”. I heard this a lot as a child. lol

    • That is a great saying! I think we all speak sharply sometimes. And I know my post was about minding what we say, but I think it’s also important to cut ourselves and others some slack every now and again when we make mistakes! Because we are, after all, humans…mistake-prone by nature!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. This is another beautifully written post, Shelbee. I believe you have quite the way with words :). I hadn’t thought about the way I’ve worded compliments in the past having such meaning. I always mean a compliment I give in the most positive of ways! I see where the wording does make a difference, now that you’ve pointed it out! Also, I fully agree with you on the “I am ___”. I used to say “I am ___” all the time, it’s only in the past few years that I’ve changed to saying that “I struggle with ___”, because I realized I was letting my problems define me. I love your stay sassy shirt and animal print shoes!

    Jane
    http://www.unextraordinarilyjane.com

    • Jane, thank you so much for your kind words! During my struggle, I identified myself as Bipolar, saying “I am Bipolar” mostly because the doctors would phrase it that way. It got to the point that I couldn’t function because I identified as only that and lost all other parts of myself. When I decided to reclaim my life and control over it, I had to start rephrasing in order to break myself and everyone else from putting that label on. And as a result, I became very adamant about that specific phrasing, in particular! In order to heal, we cannot identify ourselves as our illnesses and struggles! Thanks so much for reading my post!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. Such a great post! I think that our society in general has gotten very lazy with their words, and social media doesn’t help. Thanks for the reminder to be thoughtful about what we say and write. Love your tshirt too! Have a great weekend!

  21. YES!! I say all the time: WORDS MATTER. The right words used the right way are so important. Great thoughts here! And thanks for stopping by!

  22. So true! We should all use our words wisely and do less harm. Great post!

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  23. Inspirational words and perfect little tee for this post! I love your cute little scarf and leopard slip ons with this all white look. Very stylish!
    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday! Hope to see you back next week.

    Jennie – A Pocketful of Polka Dots

  24. Indeed you are correct. And something tells me that you do indeed “stay sassy” in a respectful sort of way of course. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Now let me practice with this word this…Shelbee, white looks great on you. 😉

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