The power of words and the dangers of our own pre-occupations.

Yesterday while at Freeport Braintree, I bumped into a good friend I hadn’t seen for a few months. We said Hello and then I misinterpreted a comment. While being hugged “hello” the comment was made “It’s gone”.

Interestingly for me my image at present appears to be about my weight. I have exercised less and increased my food intake to avoid eating sweets and as a result I have ended up putting a couple of pounds. I am back at 13stone for the first time in a while. I don’t like this so I will be make some further small adjustments. I will still eat what I want but just eat slightly less and know that I have plenty of food if I really do fancy eating a little extra.

So when I heard “It’s gone” I said “no actually I have put some back on”. I have been used to people seeing me and commenting on my weight drop since improving with the ME/CFS.

My own pre-occupations with my weight meant I completely missed what was being said which was my hair is no longer long. Now “It’s gone” is a short vague statement but that is how easy words can affect us and make us see and feel things others didn’t intend. I was so wrong on my interpretion it was easily picked up on this occasion, but how often to do two or three comments gets misunderstood and we read a situation completely badly? Perhaps we then react negatively and people then react negatively to us? We blame the other and yet it was us that generated the negative situation.

As a hypnotherapist I use words to create positive images. Parents would do well to think about how their words could be received. Which is likely to get a better response, “I am disappointed you didn’t put your dirty clothes in the washing bin” or “I am disappointed you haven’t yet put your dirty clothes in the washing bin but next I ask you I look forward to being able to praise you for doing it much quicker”. The later implies you still believe it will happen this time and also you are sharing an image of future success. It is a long winded way of saying things and I actually re-wrote it twice but the more you think this way the more it will be natural for you to encourage progress than to just be negative.

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