How, what and when we speak makes a lasting impression. Words cannot be taken back.

How many times have you heard: “Oh … I didn’t really mean it.” Or, ”I’m sorry I said that. I take it back.” Or, “I was just angry and wanted to get back at you, that isn’t how I really feel.” How many times have you said one of those?

Doesn’t work, does it? Once those words leave your mouth and fall into someone’s ears they are engraved in history, on their heart and in their minds. Sometimes, we hear about that mean thing that was said in anger, for years. It becomes a “go to” point in every argument or an automatic memory whenever feelings are hurt. Words cannot be taken back. They can’t be erased and they cannot be eliminated. Sorry.


In relationships, stuff happens. We get on each other’s nerves. We forget things and wind up in the “dog house”. We feel safe enough to let off some steam from other areas of our lives in the face of our partner. We forget that the ones we love most are listening and valuing what comes out of our mouths. That’s a good thing, right? They value what we say? Not always …

Have you ever heard of a Parapraxis? Well, that’s the psychological term for a “Freudian Slip”. Freud believed that when we erroneously said a word, a name, a fragment that seemingly didn’t fit in context, that it wasn’t just a verbal fumble and that it really meant something. It was after all on the mind and up front ready to be accessed so it could slip out. That’s what sticks in our minds when our lover mistakenly calls us by another’s name – worst of all the ex’s!! It’s obvious that they were thinking of the ex, right? Maybe even having some feelings about them …
So the point here is this: We need to be careful about what we say. What we say makes an impact on those hearing it, and it cannot be taken back. Those that care the most about you are usually the most sensitive to what you say, so they are the ones that are the most impacted when you say something careless.

Even the little comments made in jest or in passing like, “oh don’t be such a whimp!” or ” You dummie! Don’t you know….?” and the ever popular, “How can you be such a jerk!?” can hurt or damage someone. Perhaps you really don’t mean to be calling your loved ones names or demeaning their self esteem and undermining their confidence in themselves – and trust in you, but … when you think about it for a moment … how safe do you feel about revealing your vulnerability to someone that has ever said something like that to you? Sometimes, you might even laugh with them when they “poke fun” at you in this way, but I’ll bet you also think twice about being open, vulnerable and completely yourself with someone that talks to you that way.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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