Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other subscribers


Who’s Online

There are no users currently online
  • Page Views 285

Words: Exercise with Caution- Knowing the power and strength of provocative words


Have you ever found yourself in a less than ideal position thinking afterwards about why something got so out of hand due to a few words?  I think everyone has.

Words are powerful.  Provocative words and even seemingly normal dialogue can be read several ways both on and offline and on.

Ever have a discussion in text and then it turns into a disaster?  Don’t worry you’re not alone.  Even us writers experience this probably more times than we’d like to admit.


This morning I was having a conversation online with someone I’m very close to.  He posted a message about his evening the night before.  In a jocular fashion I wrote a “hello” to the person I figured he spent the evening with. It was meant as purely positive and he and I both knew that it was not meant as anything other than being jocular, however, given that I hadn’t met this friend the comment was then deleted.

We had a brief discussion as to why. To a degree I agree with the sentiment. To another, I think it might be a bit overkill as if the situation were reversed I’d have been fully content and laughing about it.

This instance was yet another reminder that words are very delicate.  Words are art. They are both logical and illogical. Solid and flexible.  Even things as simple as a hello can be taken positively or negatively.


Being cautious about words, especially when using them in a provocative fashion is often for the better.  A small situation can turn into a mountain of an issue with just a few simple words.  It is therefore extremely apparent to remember to breathe and think as you write every single letter.  You never know when you might be afraid of your own strength. It’s why they say that the pen is mightier than the sword after all.

Share This Article

Confessions of a Reformed Brazen Hussy

Next Story »

From Rags to Red Carpet Shenanigans: Just Another Day in LA


  1. Profile photo of Florence Dupuis
    December 2, 2014

    I could not agree with you more. This is a big problem for me, honestly. I often find myself insulting people that I did not mean to insult, simply because they don’t understand what I meant, or how I meant it (like how you meant that hello as a joke). There is this problem with words, of course, and some words being more powerful on some people then other, which can be surprising and lead to unexpected feuds. But there is also the tone, particularly in face to face or phone conversations. I often have this problem… I am the kind of person who does a lot of sarcasm and english humour… But I do it to seriously and people think I am serious, and say, really mad, not kidding. Which leads to problems. Tones are hard to muster and can be wrongly interpreted, and words are powerful and can be very hurtful if not very carefully chosen, and then again…

  2. Profile photo of Rhoda D'Ettore
    October 31, 2014

    Personally, I think people give words too much power, thus turning over their own power to the one who used the word. If you call me a @#$#, did it hurt me? No. Is it going to make me homeless, no. It has no power at all. Now, if I flip out, lose control and start yelling, then I just gave you power over my emotions. This is why profanity does not bother me. People can say whatever they want, but I will not let simple words affect me like that. (and hopefully you were able tell, even without tone and infliction, that I was being nice, not accusatory LOL)

  3. Profile photo of Bella
    October 29, 2014

    I think in person, body language and intonation can help convey the correct intent behind words. The problem with text, emails or online postings they can be misinterpreted. You can’t recreate the humor as well or be as subtle, as a person will read it differently,(even if you try to spell out the humor) and at different times according to their mood.

    Caution is key as not everything can be deleted. Some are quick to judge or respond in haste with no thought to consequences. Always think how others may read what you have written!

    • Profile photo of Ally
      December 2, 2014

      You hit it right on the head Bella! I have been working online for years and had to learn quickly about how intent is not transferred online. The person on the other end of the communique can’t see that you were laughing when you wrote it, or know for certain that you were being jovial at all.

      Even in person though, you must be cautious about the words you use, especially when talking to people you don’t know well. It is easy to botch those first few impressions by saying the wrong thing or being misinterpreted.

  4. Profile photo of Scott
    October 29, 2014

    This is quite true. An improperly used word can make or break a conversation or introduction. The meaning behind the word “Badass” is brought to mind. In a country like America this is considered a positive statement.

    In a country where English is not the first language it can be misconstrued. I speak from experience. 🙂

  5. Profile photo of McKenzie
    October 28, 2014

    I think that’s the problem with the internet – you always have this passive aggressive other end that you can’t really read. Apparently, their passive aggressiveness was projected onto your genuine comment, and that person isn’t worth keeping around!

  6. DaniMiranda
    October 27, 2014

    Our word is our bond. So true is that statement. Our words are our vibrations powered by the energy that dispels them. Pretty intense if you ask me. Your post delivers insightful points. it is imperative we realize the positive and negative affects our words may have on the person we speak to. We are showcasing our inner selves when we communicate. Take heed to your words.

  7. Profile photo of Xandra Breban
    October 27, 2014

    Oh, I just love when you said that words are art! I am a part time visual artist and I love art and words! Haha! Art is number one is my book and when words are added to art then art is taken to a whole another level. Yes, I totally agree. When we talk we have to be totally aware of what we are saying and how every word we say fits in our conversations. Maybe it is just me because I am like a detective, I dissect everything but we really, truly have to be mindful of what we discuss because we have the power to change the world with the words we speak, so why not change the world for the better by speaking more positively?

  8. Profile photo of Sarah Carson
    October 24, 2014

    This article was perfect, it is so true. The power of words is something crazy and they can make or break a situation. Some of people need to learn to be cautious with words because it can make a small deal into a huge deal all in a matter of seconds and then people don’t want to own up to it because of how it all started. I think this was a most needed post because it happens all the time. You never know what the power of words can hold.

  9. JustmE
    October 23, 2014

    Oh yes, I have! At home, in the workplace and with my friends. I try to be cautious with my words since I want to avoid offending people. But sometimes, especially when I’m mad, I get cross and words just come out like machine gun. This is usually the case with people I’m close to thinking that they will understand me more. I know though that it shouldn’t happen be it with people who hardly know you and much more with people you love. But now that I’m older, I think first before I speak. i have mellowed a lot.


Leave a Reply