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Words can kill

I’ve been told that I’m intimidating. This absolutely flabbergasts me since I regard myself as being one of the nicest people I know. No, I really do.

I think this opinion has been formed about me because of my words. I consider them to be one of my greatest assets and I use them freely.

Words are mighty. Few things enlighten better or hurt more.

Make no mistake, words are a lethal weapon. They can also sooth, dry tears, give confidence, provide insight and give endless comfort and encouragement. And, they can intimidate.

I am in the second part of my life (geez, now I’m depressed), and I’ve learned that words can solve almost any problem I have. I’ve also learned that they can create quite a few.

Wars have been started with words. They’ve also been ended by them.

If you look at a successful marriage or relationship, you will find people who are willing to share their inner most feelings, needs, fears, hopes and dreams … through words. Without the ability to put our words together to form our thoughts, we are lost.

The absence of words can be devastating. Many a relationship has been brought down by one partner’s inability or unwillingness to talk things through. I can count myself among the casualties.

I find it very interesting that when we yell our words, they tend to lose their power; a bit ironic when you consider that whispering them will make people pay attention.

When I think about the times in my life that I’ve been very hurt or extremely happy, it was most often something someone said to me that made me feel that way. An ill spoken word by someone we love can do irreparable damage. Ask any child that was verbally abused or any spouse that was belittled.

People pay big bucks to go hear motivational speakers. Most often they hear what their hearts already know, but hearing it from someone else is what brings it all together for us; words.

Listening to someone’s words is every bit as important as speaking them. Every divorced person knows this first hand. I’ve noticed that the unhappiest people are those who have never mastered the ability to talk to someone in a civil way.

I’ve used my words to approach a stranger who was mistreating an animal, parking illegally, trying to purchase 30 items in the 15 items or less lane (not on my watch) and anytime people do inconsiderate things. If that makes me intimidating, well so be it.

I look at it this way; words were meant to be spoken and shared. We all have the same amount of them. The playing field is level.

So, if you encounter me and you are rude, I will use my words to let you know that I’m not amused. I’ll also let you know that you look lovely today, that you have a great smile and your dog is adorable.

If you find that intimidating, use your words to tell me so.

I’ll be listening.


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mickey - Tammy- you have become an extraordinary writer and philosopher. So glad we have a long history – of memories and hours of “words”

Jeffrey Davidson - “Write On!!”

Communication makes the world go around. The old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” applies to both written and spoken.
I have a favorite anonymous quote that I think is appropriate when discussing communication whether spoken or written.
“The greatest fallacy of communication is the illusion that it has been achieved.”
Continue communicating with us and everyone you encounter.
Jeff Davidson

Joan Cooper - Well, it isn’t so much WHAT you say as HOW you say it.

Goes back to an inaadequate education system. People everywhere are not taught in a way that would make life truly civilized. We are stuck in an old pattern of power. I could go on for ages here, but I will end now by saying….. I have never heard you snarl, Tammy. I think you are cute and very very nice. Not intimidating at all.

Sharon Westmoreland - It’s always so interesting when I read something like this and it matches exactly what is going on in my own life. I don’t believe in coincidences so I always delve into the lessons to be learned. Thanks for this one Tammy. I often refer to myself as a catalyst, I know others often think that means I’m intimidating. I think that when a person is fully focused in the present and has spent a lifetime building awareness, many people are not prepared for the energy that emanates from them. Anything out of the ordinary like that causes people to feel intimidated. What do you all think about that theory?

Kris Henderson - Words DO have a profound effect on us – both for the good and bad. Being in the second half of my life too (haha), I’m getting much better with my words!

Maureen - Well, I’ve never found you to be intimidating – but I’ll certainly be careful not to get on the wrong supermarket line or park poorly! Keep standing up for yourself and the rest of us, because you do it so well!!!

Tammy - Mickey, it’s been years since we’ve seen each other. I am the worse for it. I cherish the thought that you are on the other side of my weekly rants, somehow it helps make me feel closer. Now all we need is a good cup of coffee. Thanks for the kind review, appreciate it. I too am grateful for all those years of memories and hours upon hours of words.

Tammy - Jeffrey, “write on”, love it! You are clever. I love the quot “The pen is mightier than the sword”. I believe it to be true. Words have changed history, and induced love and hate alike. They hold such power yet so few people ever notice. I will write on with the hope that you will be reading. Always great having you here!

Tammy - Joan, I agree with you about the dire need for a better educational system. No doubt. And I’m thankful that you’ve never heard me ‘snarl’ but I’ve had my snarky moments and can only hope that they were justified. I do pride myself on my civility. Not so much my patience. Still working on that. Thanks, Joan, for being here and participating. It’s awesome.

Tammy - Sharon, I think the world needs more catalysts. Where would we be without them? I also think that people are afraid or ‘turned off’ by strength in others. It calls to their mind the things they cannot do and wish they could. Intimidation by blustering and bullying is just aggression. Intimidation by confidence, knowledge and caring is a blessing in it’s own disguise. I can’t speak for other people but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t speak for myself. My two cents. And…you’re right, there are no coincidences. So very happy to have you here, thanks for posting.

Tammy - Kris, isn’t it just amazing how age has such a positive impact on our use of words? Well, for many of us anyway. I use them so much better than I did years ago, which might account for the fact that I’m much happier now than then. Who knew that I held the power in my own mind and mouth?! Middle age does have it’s advantages! Thanks for posting, great knowing you are here.

Tammy - Maureen, Haaa! you’re right there, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of right if I’m anywhere in the area. Good grief. Last week I stopped a woman parking in handicapped parking by politely asking if she had authorization for it. I tried to explain that people who need those parking spots were unable to get around and pointed out that it was illegal. She told me to go f*** myself. That’s okay, I used my words to call the police. She was towed. Don’t you love happy endings? Thanks for sharing and listening!

Kellie - Tammy
I have found that many of my women friends feel free to speak their minds (much more)since turning 40 years of age and feeling they have found their voice and comfortable in their own skin now. It seems to have been a magic age for so many of my friends. However with speaking up comes “shock’, “surprise” and sometimes “horror”. I have been on the receiving end of all myself. I think not ALL people are not quit there …yet! Which is OK! Everyone has their comfort levels, but open lines of communication is key, I guess our personalities just tend to be a tad MORE shocking. 🙂

Tammy - Kellie, I still shock myself sometimes, but usually in a good way. Sometimes I surprise myself at how capable I am or how fearless I was. I’m not either all the time. You’re right, age allows us more freedoms, earned by the living of the years and knowing better this time around. It’s a great perk to getting older. Love your post and so happy you shared it.

Karl - I can’t help but think our entire set of communications to the world is being boiled down to not words, but characters…140 or less to be precise. Some of the ‘top ten tweets’ of the year, as shown on the evening news, have enlightened the world in ways that modern media cannot possibly describe. Just think back ten years ago or less with no Facebook, no MySpace, no Twitter, no textingm no blogs … today we have them all and they have changed the meaning of words (aka “communications”) interminably. hhmmmm……..they’re still just words.

Lee Lefton - Words have kept my marriage together for almost thirty years. The lack of them often drives a wedge which can’t come back together until words are shared.

The same can and should be applied to friendships.

Silence is not golden when feelings need to be expressed.

Words have enabled me to make a very respectable living for many years. Hopefully by using them wisely, creatively and well, there’s no reason why that would change.

Words when said quietly often do have much greater power than those shouted. An example of this I will never forget occurred when I was about ten years old. As I ran around the house, my father who was sitting in his Lazy Boy, yelled at me each time I passed, “Stop running around the house!” On my third trip, he met me in the hallway, knelt down to my level, and whispered directly into my face, “What did I say?” to which I replied (quaking in my tennies), “Stop running around the house.” Then he turned and went back to his chair.

Point taken.

Tammy, keep up the good words…and work.

cheryl - Tammy, I hate to tell you but claiming to “one of the nicest people you know” is a disservice to you. I know a lot of people who are very “nice” and boring and superficial. You are not that person and that is why I adore you. All of my best friends are people with opinions which they freely express. I appreciate that.
I did gain some insight from your blog and responses about communication and/or the lack of it. My sisters and I obviously failed to communicate effectively over the last year. I find it interesting that many see direct communication as being confrontational.

aitor - yeah…nice n informative articles
best regards

Tammy - Lee, the story about your father was so poignant. I related to it strongly. So well said. Anyone who has been married for 30 years knows how to communicate and obviously you are blessed with a wise and wonderful woman. As life carries on; problems, disagreements, differences of opinion are bound to surface. If you can’t talk it out, you will grow old alone. My ex husband is a smart man but never learned how to share his ideas, feelings or hopes in a civil way. Being smart doesn’t get you very far without the ability to articulate your mind and your heart. You’re right … silence is NOT golden. Your career has been based on your ability to write the words that sell and engage. Clearly, my friend, you’re on top of your game. Lee, (I’m whispering) thank you for being here, I so appreciate your insights.

Tammy - Cheryl, I adore you too! I remember when I was a little girl everyone always asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know (and am still wondering). But I always answered: “I don’t want to be boring”. Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks I achieved that. Thanks for that. I agree with you that many of the comments left on this blog are wonderfully insightful (often times better than the blog itself, but that’s something we will keep to ourselves). I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t force communication on someone. You can talk until you are blue in the face and try your best to share and come to terms; but if the person opposite you won’t meet you half way, well, you’re rowing that boat alone and will only go in circles. It sounds as though you know this first hand. Painful … and aggravating, but worst of all, so unnecessary. Closed minds don’t find it necessary to communicate. Too bad. Lives would be improved; love and memories shared if everyone could just muster up the words to work it out. You’re right; I also find it interesting that many peeps see direct communication as confrontational. A sure sign of huge insecurities, don’t you think? And that’s a whole other ball of wax! I appreciate your sharing and your amazing insight. So happy you are here.

Tammy - Thanks! Great having you here.

Scott Morgan - I’m starting to think you and I were separated at birth. I don’t think I’ve read another blog that has made me say Amen so many times …

Tammy - Scott, thank you my brother from another mother. I happily accept your compliment and raise you one. I look forward to sharing reads with you – oh, such fun! And let us all say … Amen! Thanks for posting!

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