Harvesting Happiness: Words of Mass Destruction

  • By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

    Harvesting Happiness: Words of Mass Destruction

    What is your weapon of choice? I’m not talking about physical weapons. I’m talking about the verbal weapons we use against each other every day. From angry words and harsh words to belittling words and careless words, when times get tough, it sometimes becomes easier to say something cruel than to say something compassionate.

    The result? Words of mass destruction.

    In a world where email and text messaging are king, this problem is magnified exponentially because our communication is stripped of everything other than potentially deadly words. Gone are the compassionate eyes or pats on the shoulder. Forget about the smiles and laughter. We furiously type a few words, hit send, and move onto the next email/text message in our queue. The result? Epic miscommunication and W.M.D. carnage.

    Chances are, you’ve thoughtlessly responded to an email, only to have a friend chastise you for your abrasiveness. Or perhaps you used cap locks to emphasize your point, causing your text message recipient to think you are yelling.

    These miscommunications are becoming more and more routine, and as a result, or relationships are becoming more and more strained. A few clicks here and there and lifelong relationships can be obliterated. A scary thought, to say the least.

    So before you unleash your W.M.D., be it consciously or unconsciously, take a moment, breathe and think about your intentions. On the flip side, if you receive an email that rubs you the wrong way, give your adversary the benefit of the doubt. Read with the compassion you wanted from the sender. Instead of arming yourself with a quick retort, disarm yourself with forgiveness. If you do, the result may just be wor(l)d peace.

    Happiness is an inside job®.

    Happiness Strategy:

    Read back through the last five emails you have sent. Pay attention to the tone you took and the amount of words you used to express your point.

    Now think of what physical cues you would have used if you had been communicating in person (shrugged shoulders, caring eyes, furled eyebrows, and so on). Think about what emotions were lost in your brief, rushed email.

    From this point forward, commit to taking a few extra minutes each time you send an email to make sure your messages reflect your feelings accurately. In this world of instant gratification, it may be painful to delay clicking “send” by a few moments, but doing so will save you the time and embarrassment of having to diffuse arguments or clarify miscommunication later on.

    Remember…happiness is an inside job!

    Lisa Cypers Kamen

    Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, PositivelyPositive.com and InspireMeToday.com and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign. Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace. Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

    For more information, please visit HH4Heroes.orgHarvestingHappiness.com, and HarvestingHappinessTalkRadio.com.

    View all posts by Lisa Cypers Kamen.

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