Monday, April 18, 2011




mythbuster profile imageSticks and Stones:

The Myth That Words Will Never Hurt You

Sticks and Stones May Break Our Bones...
But words will never hurt us?
So untrue.

With words are sometimes our only or our most significant way to express ourselves and communicate with each other, words can break our spirits and definitely harm us.
Even those who believe they have a tough exterior and are immune to negative language and words may be, in fact, kidding themselves in a very detrimental way - that is - if they never take steps to overcome the harms that may be happening when they hear negative words, phrases, tones, etc.
Many people who claim that words do not affect them are actually, unconsciously involved in working against negativity and do not even know it. This isn't a bad thing at all, but it's usually better to be aware of counter-techniques for managing negativity than to be unaware. If one is aware, these counter techniques can be replicated at will and for specific purposes.
An example of counter-technique in dealing with negative speech:
Positive Affirmations...the stating or conscious thinking of positive phrases and concepts whicfh, hopefully, override negative phrases or concepts.
Now, some people are very GOOD at using positive affirmations and actually have these as routine in their lives without being very aware that they use them...
Do you have an almost impossibly positive-inclined person in your midst or as a co-worker or friend? One whose day, it is almost impossible to affect in a negative way because this person can always turn a bad situation into "a learning experience" with a "positive outcome"? A person who is able to always find positive things in the negative events which frustrate and place stress upon most other people?
Sometimes, these people have a sort of running commentary going in their minds, combatting negativity at every turn...occassionally, people who refuse to give in to words of negativity are also "in denial," so you really cannot tell about these things without, first, getting to know a person like this.
Sometimes when we are in denial of the effects of bad situations or words, our minds protect us by shutting off a certain amount of critical thinking...and replacing this with a "construct" for us to believe in...but the structure of this becomes sort of a "belief outline" that we cling to as if the belief is a system of solid principles...really, if you get inside the first layer of this, you're really in trouble, 'cos there's really only a layer or two upholding this structure...a few "positive thoughts" to believe in...but on the outside - this positivity can be very convincing to both self and others. <--- not to be used for long term purposes...and THIS IS WHY creating a CONSCIOUS AWARENESS of positivity, positive affirmations, etc., is important... so that we do not allow our subconscious to make an emergency 'shelter' for us that is less solid than one we can make choices about and have control over.
Alternate to the points about "denial," one of those people with positivity in such abundance that it's annoying to some people (like a constantly naive Mr. Bean? or a frustratingly efficient and cheery Mary Poppins?) may have conscious constructs in place and be working actively on their positive attitudes, etc. <--- these types are a fairly good model. Okay, well Mr. Bean isn't the greatest model...however (and yes I know he's a fictitious character) his optimism is powerful. Mostly - people who refuse to buy in to 'all the norms' seem to have a better chance at also avoiding certain cyclical oppression/negative influence of words than most who buy in to all the norms.
Dealing with words, both positive and negative, is something all people should learn about because we only have a certain degree over our moods when we understand well, how to speak, how to hold discourse with each other, how to listen to each other. We're social creatures - we need other people around us and in our lives in varying degrees, and we interact with other social creatures in a number of ways. Speaking is a tool we have to allow us to clarify other ways of communication that are sometimes unclear - such as body language communication. We can use our speech to clarify when we are uncertain about what a gesture meant or what the expression on a person's face means or what the tense-looking body stance a person is holding means.

Propaganda Video on Communism

Early Propaganda Message on Fallout Shelters

Propaganda/Psychological Tactics in Advertising

Subconscious Ingestion of Words

Negative conditioning happens a lot through media sources while we passively - or even actively think we're ignoring it. Sometimes people will say, "I hate the negativity in the newspaper all the time, so I stopped reading the newspaper."
This sounds like a good way to stay away from negative words and comments but is it really? Did you take yourself completely away from being able to ever see headlines, too? (your mind and brain 'read' stuff that you don't consciously attempt to read...if you don't completely remove all news text from your world, your brain will still read it subconsciously). Did you take yourself many, many steps away from being able to hear any news broadcasts over television sources, radio sources, etc? Your brain also hears many things you are not aware of at a conscious level - this is why it's super important to be a conscious, assertive participant in life, making choices about who is around us, setting boundaries and engaging in the world respectfully.
Our brains are amazing, really. They do things we never ask our brains to do. The problem is, they do things we never ask our brains to do. The bigger problem... we can't stop our brains from working this way. Our best recourse is to get with it and be very interested in how our brains manage information and kick off responses in our own thinking, perceptions and behaviors.
Because there are so many things our minds do without our conscious prompting, this means people who aren't reinforcing positive input all the time may still be affected by bad words and concepts even though they aren't actively engaged in consciously derived bad thinking, bad behaviors, a 'bad crowd' of friends, etc.
Ever wonder why it's so hard for a 'plain Jane' or 'ordinary Joe' to escape 'mediocrity,' 'constant, general labour,' 'seemingly unlucky events,' and such in life? If they're centered in a world of negativity and know of no 'awareness' techniques whatsoever, the plain Janes and ordinary Joes may seem to have a rather mediocre, unlucky, plain life throughout and always wonder why 'nothing really great ever really happens.'
The paragraph above is, of course, propaganda, but is made of concepts about psychology and the subconscious mind which I truly believe in...
I've inserted it (the propaganda paragraph) here for a reason. It's not that I'm going to detract from it soon but I feel willing to place it under scrutiny for readers who move on to my next heading - to examine the pros and cons of "propaganda" below.
Not all propaganda is bad, but - as with many terms in our modern society - the word "propaganda" has reached a 'buzz word' status. This means its original meaning might be in question when used as a buzzword...the general public in a universal way has allowed the buzzword to represent a certain symbolic meaning or concept...
With the word "propaganda," the general buzzword concept is negative - propaganda meaning, "lies." Propaganda doesn't inherently reflect lies... propaganda reflects a certain argument that is persuasive.
Propaganda is a persuasion attempt in its plain form. The connotation with "lies" comes from our seeing so many lies in the persuasion attempts of our government's words - which have often turned out to be harmful words, lies, and manipulations. In turn, we've started deciding that the word "propaganda" means "lies" instead of "persuasion methods and messages."
Now, if you've read enough from me on this issue or you think I'm off my rocker, perhaps a fellow hubber's words will be more straight forward and appealing. Cagsil has a great hub that might open your eyes concerning government, political and social controls:
Just for a different writing style on a similar topic... I hope you'll enjoy the article above. In my opinion, Cagsil does a great job of outlining the dangers of failing to think critically when there are tons of elements in our environments just waiting for the chance to persuade us with propaganda, even cause fear and chaos via propaganda...

More Subliminal Tactics

Propaganda: Perspectives

Some will argue that all propaganda is bad. Some argue - and this is my position for the purposes of this hub - that all propaganda is good!
Essentially, propaganda is defined as: the spreading of messages and ideas that have a certain agenda or motivation behind the ideas. Another way to put it is that propaganda is a persuasive message or collection of ideas presented to an audience the speaker hopes to influence.
You see...? Nothing is actually wrong with propaganda... and propaganda, believe me, is all around you - but there CAN BE a problem in "motivations" and "agenda" of the person(s) presenting the's the motivation/agenda that need be searched for because, when put together right, propaganda messages are JUST PLAIN EFFECTIVE...whether the audience is aware of this or not.
Words affect us whether we like them to or not, whether we're paying attention to them or not!
For example: the message I conveyed above, I'll just re-post here below again...
"Because there are so many things our minds do without our conscious prompting, this means people who aren't reinforcing positive input all the time may still be affected by bad words and concepts even though they aren't actively engaged in consciously derived bad thinking, bad behaviors, a 'bad crowd' of friends, etc.
Ever wonder why it's so hard for a 'plain Jane' or 'ordinary Joe' to escape 'mediocrity,' 'constant, general labour,' 'seemingly unlucky events,' and such in life? If they're centered in a world of negativity and know of know 'awareness' techniques whatsoever, the plain Janes and ordinary Joes may seem to have a rather mediocre, unlucky, plain life throughout and always wonder why 'nothing really great ever really happens."
Now, again - this is propaganda. In my opinion, it's my propaganda and is POSITIVE, good propaganda...I'll proceed to tell you all about my propaganda now....
The motive/agenda: my motive in saying what I have said is to persuade you that paying attention to words is ultimately and totally important. Also, that whether you like it or not, words are affecting you, regardless of whether or not you're conscious of them or are paying attention to them. I have added examples of a 'plain Jane' and an 'ordinary Joe' to appeal to your idea of 'safeness with an average person' in my examples. Also a 'persuasion' technique (appeal to the audience with something the audience will identify with). Now my explanation is moving more into technique rather than agenda...the agenda is simple, already stated, but I'll state it once more....I wish to persuade an audience that words affect people whether they pay attention to them or not.
Here, I'm being completely transparent...which other propaganda-ists rarely do. I'm making my propaganda as harmless and as transparent as possible.
News sources, political speakers, many activist speakers, etc - are not going to give you this much insight into their propaganda!
One tiny (not so tiny) negative here that I'm also going to be completely transparent about: I haven't qualified my suggestions about how plain Jane and ordinary Joe end up with an overall mediocre life due to not paying critical attention to life...this concept, I've provided. I've basically said that not paying attention to words in an active, deliberate way is turning out plain Janes and ordinary Joes in our society who wonder why they have mediocre lives or sometimes, even consider that they're just "unlucky" throughout their lifetime.
I feel I've presented enough information to the audience to make my information appear plausible and "secure enough" in argument, etc. I have not, however, offered scientific evidence that lack of conscious attention to words turns out plain Janes and ordinary Joes, and so forth.
I believe that, for some people, 'on my same wavelength' so-to-speak, they will "get" the physiological body matters references and agree with me, knowing that what I speak "is true," based on shared understanding that audio, visual messages pass into our mind at a subconscious level all the time, whether we like this or not. THIS STUFF is scientifically proven, but I leave off showing you WHERE to find scientific reports on the psychological and physiological body studies which prove my points concerning the subconscious collecting of information to our brains...
In this, I'm expecting that - with the number of hubs I've already published - with my current readerbase already - I expect that most readers will trust me when I present certain information...again, just being transparent here about the whole propaganda/information thing.
It's called "Authority of the Author," and some people believe that hub authors with higher hubscores are authors with more authority than those with lower hubscores.
Well, call me lazy or call me busy - I'm being transparent about my propaganda on this particular hub, so I'll say - I'm both lazy and busy (writing, ready, I'm pretty active today), and I haven't posted the proper scientific evidence to substantiate all the points about propaganda or even my own self-derived propaganda on this hub.
All in all... I ask a question now, related to propaganda...
Has my propaganda harmed you?

Video: What is Propaganda

Putting This All Together

Now if you believe in my propaganda, regardless of whether or not I supplied links outward to scientific data or reports to substantiate what I'm saying...
You still want to know the point, right?
Well...what I'm getting at is that words can almost do things to us that we'd never imagine - so we'd better darn-well start paying attention to words.
Words we use with others, words we allow around us, words we say to ourselves...can all affect us and others.
If we remove negative connotations on words (such as I hope I've done with the word propaganda), then we can also start to build a solid base of understanding on a number of topics - actually - on any topic we that we don't end up with the 'unawareness shell' like I mentioned very early on in this hub.
If we allow our mind to make constructs without our prompting, we are at risk of our mind creating reactions to words in our world...and we might not have positive results out of the way our mind creates or reacts, right?

All in all... are you - are WE aware?

Or not?

Will we go on using words, with no regard to their effects?

Will we mistakenly believe that we can just shut out or ignore words we consider to be negative or harmful - thinking this will protect us?

Will we continue to sing the phrase:

"Sticks and Stones May Break Our Bones
But Words Will Never Hurt Us" ??

Do you really believe in this phrase?

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