Bad Words

Bad WordsWhen my husband and I were in pre-marital counselling, there were a few words we were advised to avoid. Now as a parent, I have not only found myself trying to follow those words of advice, but adding a few of my own to the list. Not words that are wrong in and of themselves, but words that can harm our relationships; “bad words”.

When we get into arguments, we tend to react emotionally. If we set up parameters of what is acceptable to say and what isn’t, we can reduce the amount of damage done. Here are some of the words our family tries to avoid:

  • Never – Using this word will make the other person defensive. Odd are, it’s not even a true statement. Try using words like “hardly” or “often”.
  • Always – Same principle, no one always does anything.
  • That Makes No Sense – A better choice of words would be, “I don’t understand” or “this does not make sense to me.”
  • I Told You So – It would be best to remain quite when being right. The other person knows they were wrong, there is no need to throw it in their face.
  • It Doesn’t Matter – It may not matter to you, but it matters to them. Trying to see things from their perspective doesn’t mean you agree, but that you are trying to understand.
  • You’re Not Listening  This can come across as casting blame on the other person, which can lead to further arguments. Instead try saying, “Let me try this another way,” or “Let me make sure you are understanding”.
  • Whatever – This may come across as not caring about the other person. This is another one that should be avoided when having an important discussion.
  • It’s Your Fault – Blame is a horrible way to keep the lines of communication open. Instead, focus on how the problem can be resolved.
  • Everybody Else – It doesn’t matter what everybody else says or does. All your decisions should be made based on Biblical principles and with the other person in mind.
  • Yeah, Right – This little sarcastic comment can end an open discussion immediately. Sarcasm, period, is a bad idea when trying to resolve issues. It only makes the other person defensive and closed off. Sarcasm should be avoided at all costs when trying to work through difficulties.
  • I Hate You – This is a huge one for us. If any of our children use this in an argument with their siblings, correction immediately takes place.
  • You’re Mean – As this is an emotional statement, meant to hurt someone, and not an objective observation, this one also gets vetoed. Instead, we try to have our children pinpoint the specific action that was disliked and make sure that it isn’t repeated.
  • Name Calling – The list is endless so I won’t go into all of them, but words like stupid, dumb, and the like are not allowed in our home. Instead, they are encouraged to focus on the action done and how to address it, not on putting the other person down.
  • Shut-Up – This is another one we avoid at all costs; it is rude and unnecessary. Simply asking someone to please stop is enough. If they don’t listen, then consequences are set in place.

I am sure the list could go on and on, but these are the main areas we try to avoid. Through choosing our words wisely and trying to put the other person first, we will build our relationships and unify our family.

“Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought… therefore let your words be few.”
~ Ecclesiastes 5:2

📢 Chime In!: What are some “bad words” that your family tries to avoid?

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15 thoughts on “Bad Words

  1. This is a great list that brought back memories for me. My daughter used to think “shut up” were bad words, and her eyes would nearly pop out of her head when someone said them. When she got a little older, I was finally able to explain to her that they are not dirty words, just very rude.

    My mom said when I was little I would tell her “I hate you” sometimes when I was mad. Her answer was “Well, I’m not particularly fond of you at the moment, either.” ha ha Or she would say “Oh, get over it, kid. The ‘big people’ always win!” She said it would make me furious enough to stomp off to my room so she could have a little quiet time while I cooled down. I never could stay mad very long, so that probably worked for her at times. I can’t deal with rudeness like that, though. If my daughter said “I hate you,” I think I would explode on the spot! Lol

    You made great comments on these words. I totally agree. Thanks for the great reminder on having self-control with our mouths.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Frankly, the words “I hate you” always send me up in smoke, too. However, I’ve come to realize there is no response which I can give to calm their hearts; this is something God must do. When we reach this point of frustration, we separate for a time and allow Him to do a work in both of us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Separation is a good idea sometimes. We’ve taken a break like that, before, too, when tempers flared too high.

        My daughter only said “I hate you” to me a couple of times in her life. I took a huge deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment before responding, and reminded myself that she’s just a child who’s angry at the moment and trying to express her feelings. Then in a calm voice, I lectured her about how no one on this earth loves her more than her parents, how we would do anything for her benefit, and that the reasons I correct her and place restrictions on her are to make her life better. Fortunately, she would then admit she didn’t really hate me, and we would move forward in the conversation.

        Thankfully, no one in my immediate family has problems with anger and we all communicate well (for the most part). I’m so glad for these blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t make a list of “bad words”…

    Marriage/Parenting fail, lol!

    Is it really the words that can harm? Or is it rather the spirit in which we find ourselves using them?

    Your list is a solid defense against speaking to others from a place of defensiveness or attack. But, if I’m being honest, I can twist even innocuous sounding phrases into venom-dripping statements. Because I’m a creative human being that sometimes finds myself in a state of inner turmoil and disturbingly bent on destruction. And if I speak to others in that state, I’m going to be hurtful. Regardless of which words I use.

    I find my children respond to the spirit in which I speak to them. Not just my words. And this makes me ever vigilant and responsive to my inner state of being.

    Our word choice can clue us in to our inner state. But I believe it is our inner state that gives destructive power to our words. Not necessarily the words themselves. At least, this has been my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This isn’t necessarily a “bad word” to avoid, but I have found that dealing with problems immediately as they arise has been very helpful to finding solutions. So, rather than us avoiding a bad word, we are avoiding not speaking at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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