Gentle Words For A Valentines Day Wish

Gentle Words For A Valentines Day Wish 


By Dr. Lewis James Jordan PHD | Florida Therapy

George Carlin spoke much about words in his comedy acts. There is much truth to his thoughts that what we decide is a bad or good word is sometimes arbitrary and makes no sense. People can generally agree on words that hurt, but what about words that provoke or are designed to make someone wrong bad or not good enough? Recognizing these words and changing them, can help your interpersonal relationships become more loving. Moreover, since we all talk to ourselves, sometimes called,  “self talk” or affirmations, what you say to yourself really matters too.


Provoking words are usually judgmental words that are set up to try and make yourself or someone else, feel wrong, bad or not good enough, intentionally or not. Here are a few examples:


1.    SHOULD – Think back to all the times you can remember someone telling you that you “should” do something.  We hear this daily from friends, colleagues, parents, spouses, or significant others. Can you remember one time that the word made you feel good? Examples: “You should be a better person.” “I should spend more time with my kids.” “I should exercise more.” “You should drive a little slower honey.” Can you feel the feeling that this word produces in you? Notice that it does not feel good. When talking with yourself or others you might feel better by substituting the word could or would for the word should or perhaps you could even restructure the thought all together to be nonjudgmental. Should is a judgment word that makes someone wrong and does not feel good no matter how you use it.



2.  WHY – When we use the word why we often are putting ourselves or another person in a defensive position. It is implying that you need to defend yourself. Does it feel good to defend yourself?  Does it feel good when you make someone else defend themselves? We can ask questions that do not provoke a feeling of defense. Examples: “Why did you do that?” “Why did you hurt me?” “Why can’t you see what your doing?” How about,  “I would like to understand you better.” “What I hear you saying.” “I feel there may be a misunderstanding.”  How do those statements make you feel?


3. YOU – Often times when we use the word you we are defining a person, or directing a person.  Examples: “You are a bad…”, “When are you going to…”,“You think you’re so smart…” Try using the word I or We as often as possible. This often puts the responsibility back on yourselves or creates shared responsibility and tends to keep people not on the defensive which is a place you do not want to be in a relationship.


Instead of Always or Never try using Sometimes.

“You always do that to me!” vs. “Sometimes that bothers me.”

Most often when we are talking to someone and telling then they always or never do something we are using an absolute that is not true but designed to make the other person wrong, shut them down, create competition or defensiveness. None of these create trust and intimacy in a relationship with someone else or with yourself.


4. FAULTFault is a word that produces a feeling that for most, does not feel good. Responsibility is often a better way of expressing someone’s choice then using Fault. Fault implies that you have the authority to make someone wrong. When you hear the word Fault, doesn’t that feel terrible?

“It was your fault that you left the windows open, now everything is wet!”  Vs. “It was your responsibility to close the car windows.”


Words of Judgment toward yourself or others provoke feelings like:





No one wants to be intimate or vulnerable to someone they are in competition with. That sounds like a battle. When we judge we put another or ourselves in the unhealthy position of being wrong, bad or not good enough.  When we provoke someone that we love, who are we really hurting? The answer can be found by picking up a mirror.


A discerning heart is a loving heart. Choose your words carefully with a gentle heart and a loving spirit this Valentines Day and every day.

Blessings, LJJ


Dr. Lewis Jordan has over 20 years experience in psychotherapy, counseling, education and public speaking. Dr. Lewis Jordan’s Psychotherapy ServicesFlorida therapy offices for Therapy & Neurofeedback Services are located in various locations throughout South Florida as well as offices in New York City and South Carolina.  Please click here for Dr. Lewis Jordan’s current Educational Videos

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Blessings to you.

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