your words shaping you

19 February 2009 4 comments

There is a weird psychological barrier that is crossed when you say something out loud.

When you're really ashamed of something, speaking it to another person does an amazing thing. Somehow by saying it, by articulating these thoughts into vocalic and consonantal sounds that form into psychosocial symbols of greater realities, it changes things. It gets the darkness out of the insides and into the light, where you can be a little more distanced, a little more safe from it, with a little more perspective.

On the other hand, if there's a dangerous thought floating around in your mind, sometimes saying it out loud can be the worst thing ever. The words coming out of your mouth gives shape to that danger and makes it real. Reciprocal influence? You shaping your words and your words shaping you.


  • Andrea said...

    Sounds a little like counseling to me...maybe i'm biased though. I must admit it's a little easier listening to other people try out their words than for me to.

  • kessia reyne said...

    Nick, that is exactly it! Real and risky... I once heard someone say that the spoken word is more permanent than the written word because you can erase or destroy what you've written, but you can never retrieve what you've said. Indelible.

    And Andrea... yeah, I think you might be a little biased, but though I hadn't really thought of this in a counseling context before, it makes a lot of sense. I guess that means you as the counselor get to share in the open space where people bring things out of the darkness. I wonder how their dark words affect you.

  • Ben Schnell said...

    I process my thoughts best externally. I have to talk about what I'm thinking or write about it to really understand myself. Sometimes it gets me into trouble, because yeah, its risky, thats why I journal hours and hours every week, so I can safely process my thoughts externally without letting my inner thoughts become public domain. Oh man, the stuff those journals say! Human depravity on paper...

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