We speak thousands of thousands of them each day. Some are long, some are short, some are simple, and some complex. While our vocabularies may be limited, the amount of words that can be used to describe a situation and carry on a conversation is immense.
The way in which you choose your words and structure your sentences have an impact greater than you’d expect. Words are remembered whether they are written, read, or spoken. Think about the last handwritten card you received…who was it from and what did it say? What about the last tidbit of advice you gave? The last piece of information you read that really hit home? I’ll bet you remember it all.
No matter what form they come in, words have a way of engraving themselves in our memories. We recall what people say about us and the words we regret saying to others. We recall readings that resonate and even those that don’t relate. We recall our favorite written words as well as those we wish we never read.
I am a believer in Maya Angelou’s famous quote, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” I also believe that words have the power to make people “feel.”
Some are better than others when it comes to sharing their words by means of writing or speaking. Like many others, for me, writing is an outlet. Written words have always come easier than spoken words. Nonetheless, writing as a means of communication has its drawbacks. The biggest is the lack of emotion present.
People can read your words, but they’re reading them from their own perspective. They use their own tone of voice and envision how they would translate the message you’re trying to get across. Every day, we do this without even realizing it as we email back and forth and send text messages. Our message may be completely reinterpreted when it’s received, depending on the choice of words.
Keep this in mind as you go about your day-to-day activity. Try to re-insert the factor of emotion that is removed in written words. Remember there is a person at the other side of the screen. Choose your words carefully, because people remember them for both positive and negative reasons.
You never know who your written words will reach or how your spoken words will make an impact. Use those words to share, to find relation, to inspire, and to spread kindness. Make people remember how you made them feel because of what you said.