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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UTM chapter.

We all know the old sayings, “Actions speak louder than words” and “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. While these sayings are true to an extent, we all know that words can really hurt and impact your day, rather it be in the positive or negative way.

If you are like me, words are extremely important to you and have a huge impact on your overall mood and day as a whole. This wouldn’t be as big of a deal if people would just choose their words wisely rather than just saying the first thing that comes to their mind. You have to think about how that other person is going to receive what you say. Since this is something that really bothers me, I have decided to make a change this new year on how I speak to others.

By now in life, we should know how to respectively talk to others. Once we get the past the traditional and still useful “please and thank yous”, how we talk to people goes a bit deeper. If we constantly talk “down”, pick on, are rude or just say hurtful things to the people in our lives, just imagine how that makes them feel as a person and towards you as an individual. Even if we are joking, it can still really affect a person. On top of that, you personally don’t want to be talked to in a negative sense like that either, so we shouldn’t do it to anyone.

Words can have different meanings depending on who you are talking to. We all have that one friend who we can pick on and just be silly with and there not be any hard feelings towards one another. We also all have friends who “can’t take a joke” as they say. I personally hate that expression, because if what you said bothers someone it doesn’t matter how you meant for it to come out or how they were supposed to take it. It still hurt that person’s feelings and you are in the wrong.

It doesn’t matter how close you are relationship wise to that person when it comes to what you say either. Just because you have been friends your whole life or you have been dating for two years or you are related, it doesn’t give you an excuse to talk to someone poorly, again even if you’re joking!

So, as we begin 2020 and a new decade, think before you speak. Choose your words wisely so that you get your point across but don’t ruin someone’s day at the same time. You know how you want to be spoken to, so speak to others in that same way.

I am an Agriculture Communications Major with a Minor in English at the University of Tennessee at Martin (Class of 2021).
I am a pre-vet major who loves to laugh (especially at myself), drink coffee, and spend time with my dog, Cora. I moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee to attend college at UTM and compete for their division 1 rifle team.