I remember growing up we use to play a game called ‘tag’. I’m sure you remember playing this game with the neighborhood kids. One or more kids would count to 10 and then chase other kids to tag them and they would be what we called ‘it’. The kids who were tagged were the next ones to count, chase, and tag kids. A couple of other things I think of when I think about the word ‘tagged’ is when graffiti artists tag walls with spray paint or when people get tagged with a tattoo somewhere on their body.
There is another form of being tagged that can really have an impact on a person’s life and many times they don’t even know it. We all get tagged with words, some good and some not so good. Words can have a profound impact on someone’s life. Profound, because words mold and shape us into the very thing spoken about or to us and can last a lifetime.
Have you ever heard statements like these before?
‘You’ll never amount to anything.’
‘You are a nobody.’
‘You can’t do anything right.’
‘You are so stupid.’
‘You were an accident.’
‘Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?’
‘You’re just no good.’
‘You are never going to succeed in life.’
‘You can’t accomplish that.’
How these judgments affect you?
Have these judgments or others like these ever been spoken over you? How have they shaped your life? What limitations do you place on yourself because of statements like these? What will you do about judgments family, friends, co-workers, and others have made?
In the game of tag, you can avoid being tagged by running faster than the person chasing you to tag you. Grafitti can be removed from walls by being painted over. Not too long ago it was discovered that tattoos can be removed with laser treatment. Words, statements, and judgments can also be removed from a person’s life.
Do not react
It is not a matter of if we will be tagged with words, but when we will be tagged. The next time someone tags you what are you going to do about it? How are you going to combat the negative statement verbalized to you? Well, you can get into a fistfight with the person or tell them off, but those are probably not good solutions. Control your anger. However, you can correct the individual by telling them their statement is not true. Yet, the issue is not so much about the person who spoke as it is about the one hearing it. What will you do with it when you hear it?
If there is some truth to the statement, use it as motivation rather than getting discouraged by it. We have all done some stupid things, but that does not make us stupid. We have all failed in certain ways, but that does not mean we are a failure. Don’t allow words to saturate and penetrate you. You cannot control what people say about or to you, but you can control what kind of impact it has on you.
Don’t let those words affect your image
There are so many people marked up with negative and abusive words just like the person who has tattoos all over their body. You do not have to allow these types of words to place their mark on you and define you. You have the power to cause them to have little to no impact on your life rather than a huge impact on your life. Next time there is negative talk directed at you, reverse it and make it positive. You can also refuse it by telling yourself ‘that is not who I am’.
Lastly, you can meditate or think about other things. Don’t dwell on what is wrong, negative, or bad in your life. Instead, reflect on those things which are good, positive, pure, just, true, right, honorable, and commendable. A word spoken can only have as much impact in your life as you allow. Bring the wrong statement to a halt after you have heard it and think about something else. You have then caused the negative speech to die. It is when we dwell on the negative things long enough that we begin to believe them. The same is true if we consider and reflect on positive things. You are what you think.