On the Impact of Words

Massimo Giorgianni shares some thoughts on the impact of words, and how they can impact a dance partnership.

By Massimo Giorgianni

Words have quite an influence on us: they can change our mood, give us energy, cut us down, confuse or excite us. Words influence how we are, positively or negatively, and their power lies in the traits of the language we use.

The language we use to talk to ourselves or others has a powerful effect on the state of mind and, consequently, on the behaviors produced by such a state. It is therefore of the greatest importance to be conscious of what we say and how we say it when we communicate.

Words not only create emotions but set off thoughts and inner dialogues that produce behaviors, attitudes and actions. Thus words can become actions. Every one of us can confirm this, thinking back on how many behaviors were influenced by these internal factors. These factors also play an important role in both inner and outer dialogues

Try bringing your attention right now to your inner dialogue:

what type of conversation are you having with yourself? What vocabulary do you use the most? What are your habitual affirmations? Are they positive in nature or more often negative? Are they empowering or do they tend to hold you back and demotivate you?

Make a list of them and if you find a majority of disempowering words, or as I like to call them “useless words”, stop using them from now on. Try hard to eliminate them from your vocabulary or substitute them with other more productive words.

It has been said “as we think, so we are”, and I believe this is nothing other than inner dialogue. Start using select words; change your vocabulary in your favor and you’ll soon reap the benefits. Most of all, you will see how it changes relationships with people close to you – starting with your self or your DANCING partner.

To express what we’ve heard, seen and experienced to ourselves or others, we use language which is the verbal expression of the result of these representations, or better said, of the effect they produce in us.

By modifying language, we modify the representation and, as a consequence, its effect on us. Therefore, language can modify experience.

Remember the concept of the “glass half empty or half full”? It depends on us alone whether we consider it half empty or half full based on how we portray it and how talk to ourselves about it.

  • Words influence our way of being.
  • Words have an effect on states of mind and behaviors
  • Inner dialogue determines your actions.
  • Stop using useless words.
  • As we think, so we are.
  • What you say to yourself internally can be read in your eyes.
  • Language expresses what we have inside.
The impact of words

Every one of us has surely experienced the effect that words have on our psyche. They can enter deep into our mind and totally change our behavior, opinions, feelings and sometimes even our most deeply rooted convictions.

The words of a parent, friend or a teacher can condition our self-image, our values and therefore, our behavior and convictions.

Millions of people were swept up by Martin Luther King’s historical phrase, “I have a dream”. With those few words, he made an entire nation dream.

Churchill promised “blood sweat and tears” and with these words, reawakened courage in his people as they prepared to fight the Nazis during the Second World War.

Think of how these phrases were able to create feelings strong enough to push an entire nation toward a collective act dictated by a collective sentiment; feelings strong enough to overcome enormous difficulty.

Such examples help us understand how the use of words carefully chosen to describe an experience, can make a difference with ourselves, our partner and our career.

“Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind” (Rudyard Kipling)

I believe dancers must reflect on the quality of communication, not only for the good of their relationships but for the betterment of their performance as well.

The words used… turn themselves into movement.

Massimo Giorgianni

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