A way with words

«Dysfunctional!», the therapist said, as I lay on the couch. He continued: “Your Scaleni is dysfunctional, the same is Elevator Scapula, Trapezius…” I stopped him short and said: “my muscles are not dysfunctional, they are just a little bit “off”! “Yea, yea”, he said, not quite catching the gist of what I was saying, we’d had this conversation before. Of course, having come there in the first place, I hadn’t been feeling on top of the world, but his choice of words made me feel like a car wreck ready for scrapping.
This is not an unknown phenomenon. Send people into a room, talk to them about old age and they will walk more slowly out of the room than they did, coming in. Choose the right words in talking to a patient, and the healing effect may manifold exceed that of medicines and treatment. Both these examples are backed by research, and the importance and impact of such findings are slowly manifesting themselves in people’s minds.
We have all registered how words, given or received, affect  our relationships and encounters with our fellow beings.  A business deal may go through or fail, depending on which words we use.  An enemy may become a friend, a friend an opponent, due to the right or wrong choice of words.

In Norway we don’t have a great tradition for verbally backing each other, we are supposed to be modest, “realistic” and preferably a little pessimistic, just to be on the safe side…. Good tidings should come as a surprise, not something wished for or believed in, and praise and commendatory words are often left for the memorial service…

We tend to forget that we are gregarious animals, depending on one another, needing to make each other strong. A kind word, a hint that someone believes in you, in what you can accomplish, and treasures you, for being you, matters…the world, no less.
Personally, I am a far cry from graduating from The School of Beneficial Words, but like most others, I am aware of most of the basic theory. But some seem to have skipped even the precursory classes:
Rosenborg, our local soccer team just lost a game, quite seriously so. And the supporter club, in so many (badly chosen) words, beat the daylight out of one of the season’s best players, because he didn’t deliver up to par on this particular occasion. What a way to go!
And talking about beating: as for the afore mentioned therapist… at the end of the session I was feeling lousy and ready to aim a good kick at his behind, just a few facts prevented me from doing so: 1. I was at the time  literally nailed down with umpteen acupuncture needles, 2. He is a really nice, well meaning and, excepting his choice of words, extremely proficient guy, and 3. He is a champion within a sport through which he has acquired muscles you don’t want to be on bad terms with.
So instead, I wished him a pleasant weekend, and spent the rest of the day using a variety of mental techniques that I have picked up over the years, …and some good red wine in the company of energy giving friends, to get me back on my, in spite of a few minor flaws, very functional track again.
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