Words Hurt And Are Never Really Forgotten
by: Eric Menzies
During my years as a forensic psychologist, I have been called upon to work on hundreds of criminal cases of spousal abuse. Occasionally, these cases involved the death of one or both of the partners in the relationship. It goes without saying that if either one of the partners in a relationship are utilizing weapons to injure the other, the relationship is definitely on the rocks, to put it mildly.
The thing most people fail to realize is that the vast majority of relationship damages are not caused by physical weapons or violence. The damage done without guns and knives kills more relationships than that done with physical violence. And, just what exactly, are these weapons?
There is an old song by INXS called “The Devil Inside” about the frailties of human beings. It is one of my favorites by that band. There is a line in the song that says it better than I ever could “Words as weapons sharper than knives. Makes you wonder how the other half die.” In that particular part of the song it was referring to a woman, but it could just as easily refer to a man.
As we are growing up we come across this statement only too often ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.’ While this is the way we must try to think, it is very rare to see this in reality.Words are what hurt in the worst way to everyone as no weapon can. What lies behind these hurting words is that people tend to speak out without thinking when they feel slighted for some reason, and the words come out of their mouth that can never be taken back.
There is an old saying that you can never un-ring a bell once it’s rung. The same is true for words. Once you let out the toxic barrage, you can never take it back. Apologies are just bandaids on the damage done. The cuts on your partner may not be as visible as those produced by a knife, but they are likely to be every bit as deep!