Our words carry enormous weight. More than we sometimes think. They often impact people for decades, providing the courage to press on or one more reason to give up.
By Josh Richardson
Words have a dramatic effect on how we interact with people and the decisions we ultimately make. They can influence us, inspire us and just as easily bring us to tears, affect our confidence and self-esteem. Shame on you. These three simple words can temporarily — or, when used too often, permanently — destroy an individuals sense of value and self-worth.
In modernity, shame is the most obstructed and hidden emotion, and therefore the most destructive, said Thomas Scheff, professor emeritus of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. Emotions are like breathing — they cause trouble only when obstructed.
In complex decisions of “right” and “wrong,” our emotions may get the last word, but the words we hear make us judge ourselves. Particular emotional centers in the brain charge up when the dilemmas involve insults from others.
When hidden, he continued, shame causes serious struggles not only for individuals but also for …
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