Do No Harm

My first rule is to Do No Harm.  I know this is usually a motto for doctors of medicine and they are to do no harm physically, or with their medications or their surgeries.  In my case it means to do no harm to a patent emotionally, psychologically or psychically.  It also means to not make someone wrong.  People are told enough bad things growing up – ‘you’re no good’,   ’you’re just like your father’, ‘ you can’t do math, you’re a girl,’   ’you’re not important,’  ’you’re not loveable’.  These messages can be given through words, tone of voice, eye contact, posture, indifference.  People carry wounds from words.  The old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me,” is not true!  We suffer more from words than we do from beatings.  The bruises from a beating heal, but our brain never forgets the words, the tone of voice, the look on the person’s face.

I had a couple who came apart over the question, “What kind of dressing do you want on your salad?”  the tone of voice was negative, caustic and sarcastic.  The relationship, which had been in jeopardy for some time, ended with this question.  Actually, it ended on the indifference, the malice and the tone of voice.

You know, we are at our very best when we are interviewing for a position.  We are polite, we are courteous and we are very careful what we say and how we say it.  With our spouse, our significant other, our children, we become more casual and sometimes, careless.

So we need to be careful what we say, how we say it and what we look like when we are speaking.  We can do great damage with our words.  They are never forgotten.  Are you careful about your words?