Watch your mouth!
We've all heard the saying, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". Ideally yes you want this to be true. We want to teach our kids to overlook things said to them at school and on the playground, be proud of who they are, how they look, dress, talk, etc. Sometimes it works and for some people, it's a way of life because it has to be. But this statement isn't true. It can be used as a coping mechanism for someone who has been picked on, made fun of, or experienced tongue lashings that were meant to tear you down, but this has been developed over time to protect yourself. The fact of the matter is that words hurt, they last and they have consequences even if the consequences are taken on internally by the one being hurt.
When we talk about physical reciprocation, you know, you say something rude, disrespectful, etc and someone pops you in the mouth. Some get all bent out of shape and say it's just words, you took it too far. Let me explain something to you, those of us that recognize that that is a potential consequence don't go around saying whatever we want to people. In my short life, I have found that the people with the most despicable mouths have either never been popped in it or they know they can back up whatever they say. When will we realize that they are not just words? People have taken their lives because of words, schools have been shot up because of words, marriages have ended over words, children have been traumatized by words, I could go on. Once those vile things leave your mouth you can't take them back. They will often replay in minds of the hurt ones leaving unseen scars that they mend quietly. The unfortunate circumstances surrounding negative wordplay is that oftentimes we use these with our loved ones. We apologize with hopes of forgiveness and move forward while they suffer silence working to forget the hateful things you've said during an argument or period of frustration.
Does this mean that everything gets a pass and we are supposed to not speak up or address concerns with those around us? No of course not, as people we have the right to express ourselves and get our own needs met as well. We have a right to be upset when we feel wronged, when your child will not mind, or is disrespectful or your spouse/partner is doing something that is bothering you. Just be mindful that before you say it, do you want them to replay it? And if you do, it may be time to set some boundaries and revisit my post about your four options.