The High Price for Words

by | Oct 15, 2019 | Peter's Voice

I used to think words were expensive. It’s hard to describe, but it felt like each time I spoke, it took something from me.

Based on some crazy set of calculations I had in my head, It was cheaper for me to nod than to say the word ‘yes’.

The other day, I saw someone else with the same issue. He walked over to a group of people he worked with, picked up a pen from someone’s desk, and walked away. The woman whose pen it was, asked, “Hey, did you just take my pen?” He said, “Uh-huh, I’ll bring it back in two seconds,” and kept walking.

It seemed to be easier for him to try to avoid asking for the pen than to step up and directly request it upfront.

This type of thinking, I now realize, is based on beliefs. The way I used to think, each word had a cost. If I said too many of them, I might either run out or else I would need to spend a great deal of energy recharging.

Many other people in my life seem to have an abundance of words. They can talk and talk – like it’s fun. They don’t look at words the same way I do. They must have a different set of calculations in their head.

I figured if other people can use words without a care, maybe that’s something I could try for myself. I recognized I had to shift how I did the math in my head.  

This shift in thinking can apply to more things than just the cost of words. I’m sure there are a few other areas where I, and maybe you, have set up some complicated equations that don’t work any longer.

I’ve spent decades viewing words as scarce and precious. Now I can see that by using them more often, I can be better at what I want to do. I can make my point, interact freely with others, and not create issues like the guy who walked away with someone’s pen.

I don’t think I’ll ever be accused of rambling, but I do feel much better about talking and using words more freely.

It’s sure nice not having to keep all this accounting going in my head. 

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