You suck! You’re ugly, stupid, an idiot! I hate you! You broke my heart!
Words much worse than these are used to communicate how we are feeling about others and ourselves. Language is the most distinctive way to know whether someone is in distress, seems dangerous or is friendly. During our lifetime we use language to convey feelings of happiness and anger, frustration and joy. At times it’s seems as if words are actually weapons that can cause physical harm. The meaning of words are so integrated into our way of life that we’ve come to firmly believe that they have great value and power. When we were younger and just learning to speak, before we developed a strong grasp of language, words meant little to us. We would hear words all around us and were totally oblivious to their value. It wasn’t until we began to create our own understanding of the meaning of words that we began to decide which ones were good and which ones could hurt. And that idea, that feeling which is so very real to us, sticks throughout our lives.
The ironic thing is those words never had to hurt.