9 Ways To Make Your Words More Powerful

I was so inspired by a guest post I wrote for my friend Dory Cote‘s blog that I am continuing the theme of the power of words here.

There’s some mystical intersection where love of words, writing, shamanism, energy healing, and philosophy meet. I’m not sure what it’s called, but if YOU know, please let ME know! Anyway, whatever its name, I’m there.

Got your own word power mojo going on? Please leave a comment and let us in on your magic.

9 Ways To Make Your Words More Powerful

  1. Research the origins and all the meanings of your words. I once discovered, for example, that the word “enough” traces back to a verb meaning “to arrive.” Wow.
  2. Listen to the things you say over and over again. Why? Hammering home a point? Special delivery of a message from the unconscious? Or simply lazy?
  3. Watch the words that others put on you (otherwise known as labels). Reject those that you don’t want to own or define you. Find and use alternative words to describe yourself.
  4. Discover your personal language laws. Are certain words forbidden? Is it possible to be too articulate? Is slang bad, or required? Try learning to use words the way others do. It’s like learning a new language and may increase the range of language nuance available to you. It may also give you a way to enter into others’ experience in a way that you couldn’t before.
  5. Use “I” language, unless what follows “you” is praise, gratitude, or a request.
  6. Keep your word.
  7. Say what you mean.
  8. Practice silence instead of filler-talk. This leads directly to listening and presence, two powerful allies in writing and in healing.
  9. Create a safe place to express yourself in the raw, where the only rule is to tell the truth.

0 thoughts on “9 Ways To Make Your Words More Powerful

    1. Yes, Number 9 is actually my Number 1, both chronologically and in terms of weight and effectiveness. As you know, I live for those 3 pages in the morning! Let me know how it’s going, and if you’d like to know how I got started turning to the page as my sounding board.

  1. Hi Phylls – I certainly don’t have a definitive answer to your query about the role of language in our enricment of joy in our lives. However, I may have a hint toward an answer. Back in the “turn of the decades” (60 s into the 70s,) I was completing my state certification requirements to become a high school English teacher. During some background reading, I came upon something called “Whorfian analysis,” named after a linguist/psychologist(?) Benjamin Whorf. I found it intriguing that he believed that (to paraphrase) our perception of life is dissected along the lines of a “perception pattern” (my words) drawn by the language which has been part of our cultural upbringing. If we had learned a different language (e.g., a native American language or a far-Eastern one) we would perceive life, nature, time, relationships with others – basically EVERYTHING – very differently. Perhaps Mr. (Dr.?) Whorf was onto a profound truth. (I admit, I have not recently investigated more of his observations preceding this writing, but now I’m curious to learn more updated views of his work!) Thank you for your stimulus!

    1. David,
      How nice to meet you again, here! Yes, Whorf! This rings a distant bell. Let’s see: “Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.” I believe the field would now be called psycholinguistics.

      There’s a very nice write up on him on Wikipedia. It says most of his work was published posthumously, which always fascinates me. And I’d forgotten that he worked in fire prevention for an insurance company!

      Thanks for joggling my English major memory cells. (A couple of semesters early on, the first time I went to college, i.e., 70s into 80s.)


  2. Its amazing how being aware of #4 can do wonders to the way you communicate with other people! You level which you are able to connect with people is amazing! Love it! Great insights!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I truly felt that Boston slang was a foreign language when I went away to college. As an English teacher, my dad looked down on slang as lower class and less educated. What a surprise to find out how colorful and nuanced, not to mention poetic, time-tested slang and colloquialisms can be! I love this one, too. And I notice it makes others feel more comfortable around me.

      1. Very true, easier rapport is built with others when you’re able to meet them where they are in their own language! 🙂

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