Your Negative Words Can Have More Impact Than You Think
Choose your words carefully
Have you ever caught yourself thinking intensely about the negative words someone has said about you, so intensely, that it is the only thing which you can think of for a long time? It is not uncommon knowledge that the mind has a negativity bias which makes it more inclined toward negative thoughts and memories. Thus, it is not entirely our fault that we focus more on the negative as our minds have been conditioned that way.
However, according to a new research in the Netherlands, when it comes to hearing harsh, negative words about ourselves, our minds are affected so strongly that the impact of the words stays with us for a long time. The impact of harsh words and verbal insults is much deeper while on the other hand, people forget the good words and praises easily.
The research was conducted by Dr. Marijn Struiksma and her team at Utrecht University.
The research involved 79 female participants whose brain readings were analysed as positive, negative and neutral statements were read out to them. Half of the statements were about them while the other half were about someone else. They were told that the statements were said by three men.
The readings showed that negative statements hurt just as much as a slap regardless of who they were coming from and who they were for, while there was no reaction to the positive and neutral statements.
This research has only emphasized the importance of avoiding negative speech and insults in our day-to-day life. We have little idea of the effect of our harsh words on the other person. Looking at the findings of the research, we can understand how negative comments, ridiculing, insulting, judging, online trolling, bullying and cyberbullying can harm someone’s mental health if repeatedly exposed to them. It is no wonder that celebrities resort to unhealthy practices to cope with the glaring eyes of the people judging them all the time.
Hate speech and racism have been prevalent in many parts of the world which makes foreigners feel unwelcomed and unsafe in a country that they have chosen to adapt to and call home for various reasons.
Hopefully, by becoming aware of the impact of words, people can become more cautious in choosing their words and do away with unnecessary criticism and negativity.