Saving Relationships

  Kindness, Words We Carry

Having  few good mottos and mantras are some good practices to live by. I have several, and coming from a broken home where many unkind words were said between my parents, made me cringe as a child and sent nervous butterflies swimming around my stomach. Some people follow suit, mimicking words and actions from what they had heard and seen as they were growing up. But gratefully, I took heed to those things, especially when my sensitivity to hurtful things recognized them as unhealthy patterns to follow.

I’ve always been about kindness and compassion, empathy and pathos. I try my best not to hurt anyone intentionally, I look at life and it’s punches with a glass half full attitude, and I also tend to feel others’ pain when they are hurting. Because of these things, one of my mantras has always been “Do unto others as you wish to be done unto you.” I write a lot about hurtful words and how they have the propensity to stick with us through life, most recently in my latest book, Words We Carry. In my book there is a sentence I wrote, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, is a fallacy.”

A few months ago, I was at my dentist’s office and as always, I shared some great conversation with my hygienist, Miriam. She is a great fan of my books, and when I saw her that day, Miriam thanked me for some words of wisdom I shared with her. We had been chatting about her recent marriage and all that relationships can entail in the early stages of marriage as two young people acclimatize to one another’s lifestyle habits. We all know that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries and we are bound to have disagreements at times.

Miriam was asking me some questions about when couples disagree and get angry with one another, how to avoid blow-ups, which I had written about in my book and she found very useful. I first reminded her to always count to ten in her head before spewing something out of the moment’s anger, because we can never take those words back. Oh sure we can apologize, but the effect those words leave behind will always remain like a stain engraved in the mind of the one who was slighted.

Words are powerful. We must use them wisely. We talked about my method that I use when I’m ticked at something about my husband, the method she found so useful. I reminded her that in our heated moments, we sometimes forget the love we have for our partners and those can become the dangerous moments where words slip out that can hurt and cannot be taken back. I call it my safe method.

If I find myself upset with something my husband may have said or done and don’t feel at the moment that I can continue a civil conversation without my temper escalating and potentially getting me in regrettable hot water, I stay quiet for a few seconds and then I tell him, “I’m not your friend right now.” And then I exit the room immediately. Sometimes he will keep tailing me and try to make me talk and throw out the “Oh you don’t love me?” card.  That is when I reply with: “I love you, but I don’t like you right now, so give me my space.” This always ends the confrontation, gives us the rest of the evening, or sometimes even another day of silence between us, and by then we begin speaking, and can calmly work out our differences without any repercussions or ill feelings for hurtful words that were avoided.

Miriam thanked me for this advice and other things she took from my book and has begun to use it at the appropriate times instead of fighting dirty.I am always so happy when I learn that someone has taken something of value for themselves from my writing and experience. Hence, I love to share my thoughts and practices a lot in all my writing.

We often think the little things we do in daily life are common practice amongst everyone, but that it not always the case. Many people are always looking for helpful hints for situations they may be unaccustomed to or have no prior experience from learning certain things about, particularly because of the environments they were raised in. Perhaps they are shy or inexperienced or didn’t have freedoms or people in their lives to lead good examples in life. One never knows anybody else’s private laundry. So never be afraid to pass on good and helpful information for fear it’s being repeated. Nobody ever suffered from too much kindness.

D.G. Kaye ©2015

22 thoughts on “Saving Relationships

  1. How wonderful your words helped Mariam. Sometimes as writers we forget the power that written words can have on readers. As for counting to 10 before saying something, yes! Mean words often sting deeply. xx

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    1. Thanks Christy. It’s not hard to deal with life in kindness, it makes the repercussions of even the not so great things much easier to deal within aftermath. 🙂

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  2. @”Words are powerful. We must use them wisely.” – yes, indeed… seems easy in theory, but hard in concrete life as we have to think before not after we “launch” them… 🙂 Myriam was right to thank you for that precious advice: it’s realistic and does make sense…
    * * *
    my very best and have a splendid week, Miss Kaye! ❤ cheers, Mélanie

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    1. Thanks Carol. I wrote that on my author’s page on back of books in Meno-What? and Words We Carry. A simple question, yet very weighted. 🙂

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  3. You are Amazing!! I do the same thing with my husband. Although he can usually get me to laugh, And I hate that, lol. Or he will ask me if I want a hug? Words most definitely can hurt. I have heard arguments with other couples where they call each other names. They don’t realize that by doing this they are leaving marks that won’t ever heal. Do unto others is perfect.. Hugs my friend.. ❤

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  4. Your comments about counting to ten reminded me of this quote by Baha’u’llah:

    “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

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  5. Words can cut so deeply and yes, pausing and staying quiet is kind. Words leaving a stain is such a lovely way of putting it. It’s wise to say nowt sometimes…my Great Granny used to say that she always held this thought in her head when she was about to burst forth with some angry, righteous comment…’Is what I am about to say kind? Will it help?’ Usually she stayed quiet! Other people’s words do not define us, but they can be acid on our souls….great post Debby, thank you. ❤

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    1. Thanks so much Jane for reading and sharing your analogy. It goes to prove that, he who hesitates isn’t always lost, but may have good reason. 🙂

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  6. Keeping my mouth shut at the moment I want angry words to fly out is something I’ve been working on. It’s good to remember that Silent is an anagram of Listen. Listen, Marian! Maybe it words for Debby too – ha!

    Helpful words – great post.

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    1. Thanks so much Marian. I know everyone has different approaches, and a heated moment has potential to cause regrets. I am far from perfect, but I too have learned from trial and error. I’m glad you found it helpful. xo 🙂

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  7. Sending this one out to a few peeps I love. Wish I’d known this great advice when I first started dating. My story is just the opposite. I never saw my parents fight. Ever. Which is a hard act to follow. My dad was great. I loved him and always felt like a daddy’s girl. But at times, I didn’t like the way he talked to my mom. And my mom never talked or fought back.
    I remember thinking, I will never let someone talk to me like that. And I never have. Almost to my detriment. And my kids. I wish I could say that my kids weren’t damaged by the fighting.
    On top of the minor stuff from my childhood, right out of the gate I found myself in a verbally and occasionally physically abusive relationship where I didn’t fight back for most of it and then got the hell outta there!

    My come backs escalated far beyond the way that my dad’s minor ones did and let’s just say that I could be very unkind.
    Today my daughter is like you, intentionally kind and determined to have a respectful and sweet relationship. And does. My son has a wonderful girl. He could be so happy. I am not sure what lessons he took from his childhood. I really want him to be happy and I want his girl to be happy and their kids. I want the cycle to break!
    I am claiming this wonderful message you’ve shared here and passing it on! Count to ten and don’t be unkind on purpose. It’s a habit that can be broken. I love that even after YOUR own childhood, YOU are one of the kindest people I know.

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    1. Ok, first of all, thanks for bringing tears to my eyes. You are one of the kindest, compassionate people I know Di. Like I wrote, sometimes we don’t have examples to follow, and sometimes we have bad examples. The choice is ours but sometimes some of us need guidance. Hence, I thought I’d share for those who may need a helping hand. I love that you took the message from this, and that you so openly, willingly, share your own life. I love you my friend. xo ❤

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  8. “hurtful words and how they have the propensity to stick with us through life”

    But they stick with us because we let them. If we work on ourselves to become more understanding, more philosophical, they lose their power to hurt us. Moreover, if we invest words with more power than they have we encourage society to respond by legislating against certain words whether they be political, religious, racial or sexual.

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    1. Many people cannot overcome these hurts which leave their souls damaged. In my memoirs I write in my books about the obstacles and slights I have overcome in my own life, in hopes to share light that yes, there are ways to overcome. We all have the power to overcome if we have the will and assert ourselves. 🙂

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