One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is the power of our words. Making a passing comment has the ability to build up or tear someone down, and you may not even realize the impact.
For someone struggling to not drink, hearing “Oh! Why aren’t you drinking? Are you pregnant?? Just one drink!” is a huge deal. When I first stopped drinking, it was SO uncomfortable when someone asked what I wanted to drink.
I’ve talked with folks about this and it’s a very real struggle. I’m practically begging you to NOT make a big deal about someone not drinking.
For someone who has struggled to read, hearing “You only read ONE book this year?!?” When they’ve struggled their whole life to read, getting through one book is an amazing accomplishment. I hope that I haven’t inadvertently done this through my blogging about my reading.
Just like I pass no judgment on someone who drinks, I don’t take lightly your reading habits. If you’ve finally finished that book, I am SO proud of you!
For someone struggling to get pregnant, hearing “When are you having kids? You’d make such a great parent! You’re not getting any younger!” Can be absolutely devastating. I’ve blogged a lot about not asking someone when they’re having kids, and how us not having kids has made me really sensitive to folks that ask these questions. You have no idea what is going on in someone’s life.
For someone struggling to find a workout plan that works for them, hearing “That’s all you did? You should do more. Why aren’t you doing XYZ?” Is a total blow and might make them want to completely give up. You may not know that they’ve been trying to find something for years, and they finally find one that works for them, that has allowed them to show up consistently and make progress.
I am constantly aware that my words have power. I take that very seriously and am considerate of that with each post. I am absolutely humbled when folks talk to me about reading my blog, and what they’ve taken away from it.
I have had folks reach out to me about drinking and I am SO thankful that I put myself out there about my struggle. I think it’s important for others to know that they’re not alone and that not all alcoholics look the same. Some of them look and act just like you and me.
So be careful with your words. Take a few minutes to respond. And think through how they could be taken.
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