The Power of Words

This has been an interesting week for sure. Amidst all the excitement I was feeling about my book being published, I hadn’t even thought of the possibility that others wouldn’t share that joy.

While I don’t believe, for the most part, that people intend to be hurtful, that doesn’t change the fact that words can sting the heck out of someone.


I work in a place that can be fraught with negativity on any given day, and I truly try my hardest to make the room I walk into a better place when I leave than when I got there. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, as some words can suck the breath right out of me.

Like the first time I got an “exceeds expectations” on my annual evaluation and I felt led to share it with a “friend” that also works there. Her words were, “I don’t want to bring you down, but it doesn’t matter what you do around here, it’s whether they like you or not.”


And the first time I received the employee of the month award, and a co-worker stated that it’s only a popularity contest.



This past week I hung a flyer up on the refrigerator door in the break room about my book being on Amazon and that I will have copies the week of the 23rd should anyone desire to buy one, well…

Conversation #1:

Co-worker: “So I hear you’re a writer. I read what your book is about and you do know there’s a book/movie with a similar plot line. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.”

Me: “I don’t think I have.”

Co-worker: “When I think of the name I’ll let you know. I’m sure you know it.”

Me: Nothing. Sometimes there simply isn’t a suitable response.

Conversation #2:

Co-worker: “I heard you published a book. How did you do that?”

Me: Nothing.

Conversation #3:

Co-worker: “So I see you published a book. Congratulations.”

Me: “Yes, I have. Thank you so much.”

Co-worker: “I don’t know how you can have the time. I would never have the time to do something like that.”

Me: Nothing.

While the words themselves don’t appear too hurtful, the tone and body language that accompanied them were.

I also received supportive, positive  comments like:

“I like to have friends who are ‘doers.'”

“You really are my inspiration.”

“I’m so thrilled for you!”

In fact the supportive comments were much greater in number.  But negativity can carry quite the punch, leaving the soul battered and bruised without knowing what even happened.

Said flyer came down until my thin skin grows a bit thicker, and I can sift out the harsh criticisms from the kindness.

In the meantime, I pray I’m aware of my words–and the way they’re conveyed–as I write and speak; that my words build another up, rather than tear another down. That they help rather than hurt.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Ephesians 4:29)

And I pray I use the negative for positive, not letting the enemy get his foot in the door. I have stories to tell, and I’m going to tell them. After all, isn’t that what we writers do?

Write on, my writer friends. 🙂

Here is a short video that proves the power of words and is well worth taking a moment to watch.  🙂



26 thoughts on “The Power of Words

  1. I guess some people can’t see the forest for the trees, as they say. Some can’t see past their own bad feelings to celebrate a joy for someone else. Sometimes we could pray for people instead of about them. I think it’s FABULOUS that you have published a book and wish you every success! :O)


  2. I’m so sorry that happened. You’re definitely an upbeat and positive person and it shows and people that are negative should learn the wisdom of shutting their mouth unless they have something kind to share. Sadly, a lot of people don’t actually think before they speak and they have no idea how they really come off to others. You are talented and beautiful and don’t let the haters bring you down! ❤


  3. Some people probably don’t even realise that they’re being hurtful. Try to roll with the punches and land on your feet 🙂


  4. You may also get “Oh well it’s only SELF-published” as if that doesn’t count, as if self-published weren’t even harder than traditional publishing and as if self-publishing isn’t the fastest growing trend in publishing. All stories are the same – human themes are what they are throughout time so yes there may be a similar story out there, in fact there probably is – the difference is that YOU actually wrote yours and got it out into the world and it’s in your voice no one else’s. Let me remind you to that Light attracts Dark so the happier you are the more you may be attacked or snarked at by those who are not following their dreams. Jealousy is ugly and if it’s coming at you please take it as proof that you are on target for your dreams and you are creating the opportunity for the grumpies to look at their own lives and make different choices IF they want to. Please put the flyer back up and keep track of how many crappy comments you get so that you’ll know you’ve created that many opportunities for stuck people to change. 🙂


  5. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt


  6. Hugs to you friend. Words can be painful, and I’m sorry your experience was less than ideal for your most important celebration. Allow us to cheer your sweet loving heart on and say, “You rock!” The quote above is so perfect because you are in the arena continue to strive valiantly fighting the good fight. Your words are powerful enough to change the world…


  7. First, let me say, Congratulations! I can hardly wait to read it. Will be ordering soon! Second, don’t let the negative comments get you down. They are a reflection of the person giving them and not a reflection of yourself or your accomplishments. Loved the video!


  8. There will always be naysayers. Most of the time the sentiment is a reflection of their own heart, not of you or your work. Don’t let their issues pull you down. You have a great book–be proud of it and move on.


  9. Pingback: The Power of Words | A Novel Journey

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