This One Thing Says More About A Person Than You Realise
What you say matters
I have always been observant.
I’m fascinated with the way people handle themselves in various situations.
Whenever I find myself in a crowded area, my eyes dart around my surroundings to see how people act.
This practice became more attuned while I was travelling for five years.
Maybe I was more wary of people, or maybe the new places I found myself in heightened my levels of observation.
Either way, I would find myself people watching constantly.
You can learn a lot about people by how they act, but you can learn even more by how they speak!
Recently, instead of observing how people act, I’ve been focusing on how they speak.
Body language gives a lot away, but when you open your mouth and words come out, you’re revealing more than you realise.
You may not realise it, but the words you choose have a lot of implications.
I realised this is true of the way I speak and the way others speak. I first realised this a few years ago, when I replayed a few conversations in my mind.
My friends would ask questions about football from time to time. As someone with an inordinate amount of knowledge in my brain about this particular topic, I invariably answered a lot of the questions.
However, there was one thing that didn’t sit well with me.
Whenever I answered a question, I would add the words “I think” at the end.
Why was I doing this!?
I was aware the answer I was giving was correct, so why was I implying I was unsure?
I had no answer for this at the time, but looking back I was trying to downplay my knowledge of the subject to avoid feeling like a smartarse.
Whether anyone picked up on it is another point, but those two words subtly hinted at an insecurity deep inside of me.
My words had betrayed me.
Speak With Confidence
Another example is my brother.
Since moving back home after living abroad for 5 years, I have noticed he uses a lot of phrases that are redundant.
When making a point, be it about football or politics, he will either end or start the point with “to be honest.”
Why he does this, I don’t know.
It’s a completely redundant phrase.
Do you not normally tell the truth? So you normally lie?
These are questions I asked him afterwards, but he didn’t have answer for me.
He had become so used to adding the phrase, he was unaware he was even saying it!
When I pointed it out, he realised how unnecessary it was to add this to his points.
Take that phrase out, and his arguments and conversations sounded much more authoritative. With the phrase, he sounded unsure and much less confident.
Three little words, but they betrayed more than he realised.
Think Before You Speak
The saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," comes to mind when I think of the power of words.
We use them everyday, but do we ever stop to think of the impact they have on others, and on ourselves too?
The words we use are windows to our soul.
Look at the words a confident person uses and they will differ significantly from those a less confident person would use.
Words can reveal a lot about the relationship we have with ourselves.
You wouldn’t use redundant phrases or words in your writing, so why would you use them when you speak?
It’s the same principle. Cut out the fluff, and you will look back and wonder why you ever spoke that way!
The words we use have power. The power to build us up or the power to take us down.
Choose them carefully.