Harsh Words or Damaging Words?

When is it ever acceptable to use damaging words? From time to time we all say things that we wished we had not said, but for some people this is a regular occurrence. When two people are in a relationship whether its romantic or familial, conflict will arise, but the use of damaging words should never be acceptable. Sometimes words are not damaging, but they are harsh. There is a difference between harsh and damaging words and both categories have a different consequence or reaction.

For instance, harsh words may be words or statements that are true, but the person on the receiving end doesn’t want to hear or accept the reality of what is being said (denial). Harsh words may include telling someone that they performed poorly. This may seem harsh only because the receiver does not want to hear the truth. Sometimes harshness comes from the manner in which the message is delivered. Perhaps yelling is involved and cursing or name calling. Once hurtful words are said, the focus of the conversation switches from productivity to war and agony. So, how do you know if your words are harsh or damaging? Well hopefully this will help:

Here are some common damaging words:

1. Shut UP
2. You are a piece of crap
3. Stupid
4. You are an idiot
5. Bitch
6. You are worthless

The receiver’s response may also be a clue that the words are damaging:

1. If the receiver begins to cry
2. If the receiver feels attacked
3. If the receiver wants to end the relationship
4. If the receiver complains about your word choice

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Before Its Too Late……..

When is it ever a good idea to end a marriage? When do you cut your losses? I’m a firm believer in working through marital discord such as sexual issues, financial issues, communication issues etc., but some issues cannot be remedied. Issues like domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, financial irresponsibility such as refusing to work or reckless spending. If children are physically, verbally, or emotionally abused, then the marriage should end. Lastly, having a spouse who is checked out or refuses to take responsibility for actions may lead couples down the road to divorce, it takes two people working for a common goal for a marriage to work.

It is better to make the decision to end a marriage early, especially before children are added to the relationship. There should not be any shame in ending a marriage before too much time is invested into a dysfunctional relationship.

Because of the above reasons, marriage should begin on a strong foundation and every effort should be made to get to know the other person. Remember that marriage is a commitment and the relationship leading to the marriage should be private, so that outside forces cannot break the covenant.

Guarding Your Heart

The heart is not only one of the most vital organs in our body it is also one of the most sensitive organs that requires protection physically and emotionally. Last night I was reading the following passage in my amplified bible “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:21, 23 AMP)” What I learned from this scripture is that the heart is the center of all that is good in human beings. It is important that we protect our heart because once our heart is damaged it is difficult for us to function.

After reflecting on the importance of the heart I began to examine ways that I have allowed my heart to be damaged, because I failed to protect it. So, here goes a little disclosure; in the past I was guilty of allowing others to hurt me and therefore hurting my heart. Every time I allowed my mate (past not present) to verbally assault me, every time I entered into impossible relationships that I knew ahead of time would not be able to fulfill my emotional needs, and every time I pretended I had control over others and their poor decision-making, therefore blaming myself when they inflicted pain upon themselves.

Whenever I listen to negative messages that counter the positive messages I normally tell myself, I am guilty of not guarding my heart. Words are some of the most common ways in which we do not guard our heart. I have learned that I am responsible for guarding my heart and I must take this task seriously. So many times I had difficulty functioning because my heart was afflicted with pain. Pain that I allowed into my life and my heart. Now that I am wiser and stronger I have learned to guard my heart, and I have learned that this is an ongoing task; I have to work on this task everyday.

Be sure to guard your heart!

 

Toxic Parents

Ideally parents are supposed to teach, love, and protect their children. Sometimes parents lack the ability in any of the above  mentioned duties. Parents should value and cultivate their children, but unfortunately some parents are very toxic. By toxic I mean abusive and neglectful, abusive by means of verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional withholding or parental neglect. Some children are lucky enough to receive help in repairing those old wounds of abuse, but what about the children who are not rescued, counseled, or engage in spiritual healing? Well they turn into adults who may someday have children of their own. The question then becomes how do adults avoid becoming a toxic parent? Well lets identify all the ways one can be a toxic parent and then we will examine ways to recover from toxic parenting.

The following should be considered toxic parenting:

  1. Verbal abuse in the form of criticism, yelling, name calling, cursing, discouraging your child, overall negativity. Ex. “you are useless” “you are stupid” “you are not smart enough to do that” “I wish you were never born” “I don’t like you”
  2. Sexual abuse in the form of touching, forcing a child to watch pornography, sexual intercourse, forcing a child to watch adults have sex etc.
  3. Neglect in the forms of not providing adequate food or shelter, meeting the adults needs before the child’s. Ex. buying food or clothes for adults but not the child, leaving children unattended in order to hang out socially, withholding emotional affection/emotionally unavailable.
  4. Physical abuse in the forms of hitting, beating with objects which leave long-lasting bruises, yelling, all punishments are physical, slapping a child, punching a child, pushing into furniture for mere infractions that are age appropriate.
  5. Untreated mental illness in which the child suffers because the parent is suffering from depression, mood disorders etc. the parent refuses to be medicated and refuses mental health counseling. Untreated mental illness leaves the child to suffer with abrupt moods, extreme anger, witnessing suicide attempts etc.
  6. Substance abuse which leaves the child witnessing parental black outs, drug and alcohol abuse by many adults within the home (parties), drug selling, neglect because the family finances are used to obtain drugs or alcohol. All of this can leave the child with trust issues, developmental issues (if use occurs during pregnancy), co-dependency issues, etc.
  7. Manipulating and controlling parents who constantly manipulate their children to fulfill their own agendas such as using guilt trips, using money to control children, using religion to inflict guilt etc.

Ways to recover from toxic parenting:

  1. Adults recovering from toxic parenting should seek mental health and spiritual counseling.
  2. Create boundaries such as staying away from those who have or continue to abuse or mistreat you.
  3. Self reflection exercises: listing your good qualities, volunteer work that makes you feel worthy and needed, and showcases your talents.
  4. Journal often, this helps to regulate feelings and is good for releasing anger.
  5. Learn the art of prayer and meditation.
  6. Join a support group.
  7. Surround yourself around positive people who love and support you in your goals, and who can help further your goals in life.
  8. Seek a mentor, a person who is healthy and possibly have overcome the same type of experience with toxic parents.