Fighting Words

Linda Soller | Dec 10, 2018

There is an expression, “Them there are fighting words!” which refers to words used to stir up trouble and/or to bring someone to anger. In the movies the follow-up action might be a fight in the saloon of an old western town. Today the results may be shaming over social media or violence that can even take a life. It’s ridiculous to claim words don’t matter. Unfortunately, it’s easy to type/text/phone in the words without ever having to stand face to face with the person who bore the brunt of those words. I’m not promoting fist fights, but I am promoting ownership. Are you ready to explain or face the impact of your words?


The good news is that words can also calm, sooth, and comfort. Words can de-escalate a situation. The tricky part seems to be the listening. We hear fighting words, our emotions kick in, and the words generate the desired effect. When we hear kind, supportive, or even apologetic words our listening holds the key. We must hear and recognize the meaning of the words. We must be receptive to what the words convey. So, while fighting words seem to generate action, peaceful words seem to generate thought. The same person who is ready to throw a punch based on words, is often distrustful and reluctant to believe kind words. Think about what you say and hear.


One thing is always true, it’s never okay to lash out at someone, or demean someone just because you have a certain job, title, wealth, or authority. It’s not okay to use aggressive words to get attention. When you hear someone using fighting words ask them, “would you say that if you had to face someone to defend it?” If they say yes, there may not be much you can do, but pray for them. But if they pause and think, or discuss their feelings with you, then you have started them down the path of being more understanding. Help people see words in a different light.


Christmas is a time of faith and understanding. It’s a time to come together, not push apart. Christmas is full of words of love, joy, faith, hope, and cheer. What’s your word for the week?



Peace!  :o) Linda



DROP IN ON LINE: A blog by Linda Soller.



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