Subject: Your Manner of Speaking Impacts Relationships
You betcha. How you speak to others impacts the nature and quality of your relationships. Your female companion accused you of yelling at her and so you’ve adopted the nickname “Yeller.” Here’s what you admit: that you raise your voice; that you assail your girlfriend with unflattering adjectives; and that you're alone with your girlfriend when you're yelling at her.
Let’s talk about legal aspects first:
1) FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Mr. Yeller, you have freedom of speech, just like every American. Based on what you’ve told me, I hesitate to even bring up freedom of speech. So remember, just because you have the right to speak to her the way you do, I do not condone the way you speak to her.
2) DEFAMATION: Also keep in mind that by virtue of the fact you mention you are alone with your girlfriend when you yell, you must realize that if anyone else hears you, you could be charged with defamation of character. Defamation is a common law tort which is governed by state law. I don’t know where you live, but you’d better read up on two forms of defamation: libel and slander. It sounds like your manner of speaking to your girlfriend might bring trouble raining on your head.
Now for the just plain human aspects related to how we speak to each other:
1. HONESTY: Always strive to speak the truth. When you talk to your female companion, are you being honest? Or are your words so driven by anger that you fabricate accusations? Mr. Yeller, stop before you speak and ask yourself, “Am I speaking the truth?”
2. POLITENESS: Every person deserves to be spoken to politely. By that I mean with common courtesy. Focus on asking questions in a quiet manner, rather than casting blame. Use expressions which demonstrate your respect such as “Thank you for telling me that” or “I want to listen to your explanation.”
3. KINDNESS: People respond positively to speech that denotes kindness. When thinking of kind words, perhaps they are words that uplift others. Before speaking, ask yourself, will my words uplift my girlfriend? Will my words enrich her life? Then speak words of kindness.
4. HARMONY: Words that bring harmony to a situation are priceless. Do your best to achieve a manner of speaking which promotes harmonious relationships. By using words which soothe, calm, and bring peace to others, you, in turn, will sense those same harmonious feelings within yourself. Practice in the mirror.
Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: May words from your mouth melt snow on the highest peaks.