With any breakup, there are plenty of strong emotions and great potential for long lasting harm. But the point of the greatest hurt is also the point of the greatest damage. That's normal. The challenge is to think beyond the pain and supposed consequences of a breakup and give consideration to unintended consequences and the words we use. We should not slam the door on later reconciliation and friendship.

Unanticipated Outcomes

One of the most common and most damaging methods of thinking is to pay attention to intended consequences and ignore unintended consequences. We see examples of this all the time.

For instance, I saw a news report the other day in regards to the unintended consequences of substituting traditional traffic light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs. The intended consequence, of course, was to save money and to save energy since LEDs use less energy than standard bulbs and last longer. Even though the initial cost is higher than standard bulbs, they last so long that they do not have to be replaced as often as filament bulbs. One would think there would be extra savings because the municipality who is so forward thinking would not need to devote labor to changing the bulbs as often as with standard bulbs. However, there were unintended consequences.

Because the new, energy-saving LED bulbs emitted hardly any heat, any accumulation of ice and snow wasn't melted away. The older, less energy-conserving bulbs produced enough heat to melt off the blockage and were maintenance-free as it regarded the weather. Whereas, the older bulbs burned out at random times and could be replaced as a part of a maintenance plan, ALL of the LED bulbs created a crisis at one time when a snow or ice storm hit. The city maintenance crews had to attend to each and every traffic light over a very short period of time. Moreover, in parts of the country where snow and ice are common during the winter, this unintended consequence continued hurting the municipalities during each snow or ice storm. Unintended consequences can be disastrous.

We must think beyond the intended consequences of breaking up and seriously consider the unintended consequences that may follow rash behavior--the kind of behavior that gushes out of us when we are deeply hurt. The damage that can come from a breakup is the result of actions and words but the focus of this article is the power of words.

The Power of Words

Words can heal and words can damage.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that words are metaphysical things--they are more than they appear to be. Words are magic containers. They have an overt message--the combination of letters that make up each word--but they contain something else that comes through loud and clear. As an example, words can carry emotions, attitudes, influences, and pressures. They can carry despair and hopelessness. They can also carry love, faith, hope, and encouragement. Let me give you an application.

Suppose, ladies, that you are at a party. You've thrown a lot of attention and money at your hair and it shows. You know you're looking good. But then someone walks up to you and says, "I love your hair." The wrapper, the message on the outside, is what it seems to be: she likes your hair. However, words carry things. So even though you were complemented, you feel as if you got hit hard in the stomach. What happened? The words from that person carried damage and hurt. A close friend could have said the same thing and those words may have carried support and love.

So what we need to pay attention to before and during a breakup is the words we use and what they carry to our lover. If we pierce and damage with words carrying hurt, we may face the unintended consequences for many years in the future. This is especially important if there are children involved.

In my many years of family, personal, and profession-related counseling, I've found that most people do not pay enough attention to the specific words they use, especially in serious situations like breakups. We know the danger of using words like "never" and "always" when we disagree or argue with someone but there is a lot more to it than that. Most people need help with their words.

Author's Bio: 

Everyone needs help now and then. If you'd like help with the attitudes and words you need to get your ex back, go to http://www.getbacktogetherguide.com. Take action! Don't be a victim. Click Here! to get some down-to-earth advice that will put you on the right track for getting your companion back!