Let's take some powerful words that generally conjure up powerful emotions based on the bazillion associations connected to them. I'm sure we can all come up with more than 100 deeply scaring words that when heard are incredibly offensive such as racial slurs, curse words, de-motivational words "you suck" "loser" and so on.
The power behind these words are that they can instantly and with great force affect our emotions, our actions, and even our biology "blood boiling" is not just something people say in jest, you literally 'feel' like your blood is boiling when certain emotions take you over.
Realistically this is a chemical reaction in the body when Adrenalin and other chemicals are released by the brain when the "fight" part of fight or flight is initiated. Your body does heat up and you feel a uniform heat in your body thus why people feel like their blood is boiling.
The scary part is that most people have not learned to control their reactions to certain words. Can someone yell to your face a bunch of obscenities without it affecting you in any way? Not likely. Is it possible to learn to be non reactive to ANY word? Absolutely.
We all have insecurities and those insecurities are associated often with one or more words that can "trigger" us. Being called a "loser" evokes feelings of inadequacy.
Why? Because we've all felt like a loser at some point in our lives- it's the fail to success format of life that makes this happen.
We eventually learn that we're not a loser we're just "in training" for something, but none the less the association is still there and like a "sleeper cell" waits for the right associations to happen or even a single word (like "loser") aimed at you and all hell breaks loose in your brain (which has counter effects in the body like adrenalin).
One of the hallmarks of working retail is that as bad as it often is, we tend to learn self control over words, over our actions, and how we perceive things.
Rationalization can be used as a weapon against word terror, and I often will size up who's doing the talking before I even begin to allow their words to affect me in ANY way. If you think your a loser and someone calls you a loser, it is their credibility to be right, or your strong belief that your a loser (or associated fear of becoming a loser) that will ultimately make it true (to you). It's not, of course, but that doesn't matter.
Eleanor Roosevelt said something very powerful that to this day impacts my thinking:
"nobody can make you feel anything without your consent".
This is absolutely true. It means essentially that if you don't allow them to, they can't. Words can penetrate your psyche in a billionth of a second and every association that defines that word will instantly hit you, causing you to "lose your cool". This is a firing of neurons in sync based on the many connections between your experiences, beliefs, and fortified beliefs that cause you to react without thinking. Learning to not react but to really take in ALL the information (the words, the person saying them, their "true" intention (and your not allowing them to sway your thinking), and more, will do a great deal for your ability to "sustain a hit" without injury.
At a subconscious level we're actually experiencing our stress external from our physical body as a wake of vibrations inside/outside us are formed by the words and thoughts of this word and it's definitive associations. We perceive this change in "atmosphere" at the subconscious level and feel comforted because for a moment, our internal world and external world are in sync- as negative as this is, we feel a sense of balance.
They start out as just words, but over our lifetime become much more. We also notice others cussing in anger. Some people use cuss words when they are happy, and because they are in such an elevated state they don't notice any negative effects of doing so. If you're in a good enough mood your actually fortified from the instantaneous effects of curse words or words you yourself associate to negative things.
This isn't to say you can't be instantly floored by a word- but that often the very momentum of our good mood contains so many powerful and active (and recurring/consistently refreshed) associations that the negative one is like a drop of mud in the pool of your mind. At first it may not affect you so much other than some disgust, but if it continues its like pouring buckets of mud into the pool- each instance can double or triple the successive "dump" of mud into your minds pool and that starts to wake up more negative associations than positive and you lose it.
If you like to try an experiment, try using the F word when your in a good mood. The first time won't shake you, but keep saying it again and again, even try smiling while you say it and say it about 20 times in a row. You will notice your mood shifts. You will start to feel like you don't like that word, you will start to feel your emotions stir up, and you will start to have negative memories pop into your head. All of these things will start a powerful chain reaction that will alter your good mood and make it harder to maintain it, if you even can.
In the physical plane you must counter the bad vibrations by throwing out positive ones. Say things that you know make you feel wonderful like "love". If you don't have negative associations with that word that can be the most powerful thing to say. You can even say it with qualifying statements like "I love my wife" and "I love my life". It's not about esoteric self help gibberish it's about the battle in your mind between "good" and "evil"- which ever has the most associations in tact at any given time rules your world.
Thank you Brenda :)
Well written article, Jerrico.