Words. They can be as beautiful as beautiful gets. They can hurt like nothing else. They can become as stale as the people who speak them. They are perhaps the best way people connect. Somebody can say just a few words and communicate everything. Another person can say a bunch of words and communicate nothing.
Winning at life requires winning with words. Here are five ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Complain. Complain about the big things. Complain about the little things. Complain to yourself. It will revolutionize your attitude. Complain to others. Believe that everybody loves being around a chronic complainer. Paul writes:
Do everything without complaining. –Philippians 2:14
Don’t listen to Paul. What does he know? Know complaining isn’t draining and it will solve all tomorrow’s problems. It’s not a waste of time. It’s not like you could invest the time you spend complaining doing things like growing or problem solving.
Adhere to the time-tested principle that the best way to make friends is to be critical of everything and everybody. Be a quality control expert. Nitpick. Point out flaws to those around you. Feel better about yourself by pointing out other people’s imperfections. And do it to their face. Nothing like building yourself up while tearing others down. Know that criticizing others makes you smarter and better than the one you are criticizing. So have at it!
Gossip is fun. And helpful. Knowing the inside scoop is essential for your emotional wellness. Information is power. Power is good. With gossip you don’t have to deal with your own issues because you are so consumed with others. That is cool. And everybody wins with gossip. The gossiper is more highly esteemed because of his or her impressive display of knowledge. The one who hears gossip learns vital information. And, the one who is gossiped about earns some well-deserved free press.
- Don’t Express Gratitude
Take things for granted. People know you are thankful anyway. Economizing words means saving time and time is money and who couldn’t use more money? You deserve all the good things and people in your life anyway—so no need to say phrases like “thank you” or “I’m grateful.”
- Don’t Encourage Others
It is not your job to lift other people up. Their life is their responsibility. Your life is your responsibility. You probably pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps. So can everybody else. We live in a participation trophy culture. You don’t need to be part of the problem of enabling others through kind and meaningful words.
Words matter. The quality of the words you speak and the words you listen to will determine the quality of your life. Listen to the right people and speak good words.