Your Words Can Have More Impact Than You Realize

Scarlett has been volunteering with mindyourmind since 2012 and is now a member of the staff team. As a Psychology graduate from King's University College at Western, she is passionate about all things related to the subject and is a proud mental health advocate. She also loves playing sports, spending time outdoors in the countryside, hanging out with friends and family, and playing board games.

The impact of people's words are so incredibly underestimated; whether those words are thoughtful and kind, or insensitive and hurtful. In the last couple of weeks I have had two contrasting occasions where people's words made a huge impact on my state of mind. I wish I wasn't so affected by others, mostly when it comes to their negative words/attitudes, but alas that is part of having borderline personality disorder.

This time of year can be tough for a lot of people, whether it's mental illness, grief, or any type of struggle. I'll admit that I am one of those people. A couple weeks ago the words and actions of just one person were enough to send me spiralling instantly. I overanalyzed every word and was hypersensitive to every slight change in tone - just typing about it right now has me shaking. It made me feel worthless, unlikeable, and like it would be best for me to not exist. Logically, I know that's ridiculous. I know that in the big scheme of things, the words and actions of that individual did not warrant this kind of reaction. But that's exactly the point I want to make: when someone is struggling, the hurtful and insensitive words you use could be the very ones that push them over the edge. Luckily, as is often the case for me, I eventually got through it. But there are times when I almost don't.

Contrastingly, the closer the holidays get, the more my anxiety and mood swings seem to spike. A few nights ago, I was having trouble getting to sleep when I received an incredibly kind and thoughtful message from someone that I'm not really in regular contact with - to me this meant that the message was somewhat out of the blue, which is exactly what made it so great. Even though my illnesses tend not to allow me to take in kind words and believe them for long periods of time, for those fleeting moments I felt like maybe there was hope and that maybe there is a reason for me to be here, to keep going. It wasn’t just fleeting actually, a few times the next day I found their words playing in my head and it brought me a sense of solace that I am so incredibly thankful for.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone's words are having a really negative impact on you, please know that you are not alone and that their words have zero influence on your worth and value as a human being. You are so loved and so needed.

This time of year, and always, may we be mindful of the impact that our words can carry.

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