How Powerful Can A Negative Word Be?
These days it’s so easy to think that our words don’t matter. They and the emotions that they express do.
According to an article by Joao Freitas, “The impact of positive and negative emotions might be more impactful than you think—and more persuasive.”
He cited the example of a physical education teacher in Brazil who made the point to students with just two cups of rice, one cup each in a glass jar. She asked them to direct negative comments to one jar. They sputtered judgements and cruel admonishes, such as ‘you are useless’ and ‘you are worthless’.
To the second glass, they offered praise – the kind of praise they would like to receive. “You are special”, “you are smart” freely circulated around the room.
Want to guess what happened to the rice? A few days later, the praise-targeted glass of rice naturally fermented. Not so for the glass of rice. That rice became dark and moldy.
The teacher explained, per the Good News Network that published this story, that positivity mattered. She noted there were two ways to same something: praise or criticism.
That same theory has also been found in other studies. Among the most well-known is the water study of Masara Emoto who captured on film the ‘response’ of frozen water crystals to various emotions. These emotions were contained in spoken words, visual images and styles of music.
“In all of these experiments,” he wrote on his website, “the result was that we always observed beautiful crystals after giving good words, playing good music, and showing, playing, or offering prayer to water. On the other hand, we observed disfigured crystals in the opposite situation.”
His results and the related images he photographed can be seen in this book “Messages from Water (1999)”.
So maybe we should think again about what we say to others.
To read the complete article, click here.