You’ve heard the nursery rhyme: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
Words, in fact, can and do hurt. Sure, you can build up your defenses and become so thick-skinned that they do not hurt, but sooner or later, those harsh words will seep in. Like it or not, those words will get to you.
In our society, words are tossed around so nonchalantly. The neighborhood grocery clerk or retail associate is bombarded with a barrage of harassing words. This person, weighing the pros and cons of working a crappy job, decides a roof over his/her head or the ability to stand on their own is almost worth the verbal abuse they may suffer daily. Is this worth it? Depends on the situation.
On the other hand, there are words that encourage, uplift and build. Learning to use those words that say, “You can do it!” or “I believe in you!” These are the words that help someone to advance, to overcome obstacles and to become a better person. These positive words are the words that you hear less and less of, but are the ones that you should hear more often.
Rather than put someone down, try building them up instead. In situations where you would normally be a jerk, try doing the opposite. Be the one who helps, not the one who harms. Be pleasant rather than difficult.
Being pleasant is well worth it. Pleasantries are often not expected and is one of the best things that you can do.