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Wellness

What Would You Do If You Only Got One Word To Say?

To say one word, with one meaning, is to invite someone’s ire, or, better yet, to attract it.

We live in a world with many words, yet most of them have only one meaning. I think it may be fair to say that we often speak in a language of one kind, and a language of another kind. We are the most prolific speakers of one and the least prolific speakers of another. I can’t think of a single word in the English language that has only one meaning, so I started writing to see if I could invent one without one.

One word had my attention:

(One word for you! I would say that any word you would like me to say for you.)

I am aware that this is not quite a definition of my ideal. I’m not trying to come up with a word that is as vague as: “There are certain things that you should do without question. Be kind and forgiving and polite or I may have to punish you.” I mean that this is something that may be true of almost any human being but is especially true of me.

When I am feeling angry, I can turn to the first person: Mom, Dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. The first person’s opinion is almost always the correct one. So I would like you to try the following:

“I know it is difficult for you to be angry, but sometimes I want you to be angry.”

You may find that some people do not like you to be angry. That does no harm to you at all. It may help to remember that if you are not in the mood to use an unpleasant word, the first person’s opinion is the only one you can listen to.

I also realized that the two examples above might not sound very similar. I would say that, in my ideal world, the second example is exactly what I should type out if I were angry:

(Two words for you! I would say that any word you would like me to say for you.)

Notice what is wrong with the first example. I didn’t use an unpleasant word. But what is wrong with the second example? I didn’t give that much thought to it, so let me ask you:

If anyone in this room has ever said to you:

“I want you to stop being so mad at him and just relax.”

and you have never reacted well to such advice, are you not being kind and forgiving and polite to them? If so, you are certainly a good person.

It is easy when you are angry to think that the world hates you. That was true of me and it is true of just about anybody who is angry, whether the person telling you that the world hates you is you personally or not.

When I think that the world is against me, I try to think of this scenario:

It is a Monday morning, you just got out of the shower, and one of the first people you see is a stranger. I assume, since you are an introvert, he is just a regular stranger.

So what do you do when you know that this stranger is a stranger?

Would you tell him to just walk away or would you try to help him?

The first thing you probably do is to start thinking about what you would do if you were that other person. If you are the person who is angry, you are going to spend a lot of time with this stranger, so there are a lot of things he may need to do that you don’t care about; a lot of things he has learned that you don’t have, so there are lots of things you may have forgotten.