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February 20, 2018

Watch Your Language: Using a Dictionary

By Dr. Richard Boyum

I often use the phrase with clients, "watch your language." This is part of the observing self. I want individuals I work with to be aware of how language may shape the way they think and feel. To bring this point home, I often refer to my American Heritage Dictionary. When an individual uses a trigger word we often look the word up in the dictionary to see if this is what they really mean. Quite often the individual decides that there is a better word to describe what it is they are thinking and feeling. This entire experience is used to help individuals be more reflective and thoughtful and consequently better choice makers about what goes on when they create responses to a situation. It also helps them understand that they are not the content of the words they speak, but they are the invisible awareness. This helps put them in the role of being a choice maker. See if this little exercise might not work for you as well.