The use of language, how individuals express themselves verbally and non-verbally to others, can be empowering to both themselves and the people with whom they are communicating. Looking at how language is used is important in terms of self-empowerment and when attempting to empower other people. For example:
Use positive language
Research into language suggests that a person’s self-image is reflected in the words that they use. For example, saying that you ‘should’ behave in a certain way implies passivity and can detract from seeming to be in control and taking responsibility for your actions. Talking about yourself in a positive way, acknowledging strengths and weaknesses, can be empowering.
Use active language
Use terms which imply positive action rather than making vague statements, particularly when talking about the future. For example, ‘I will…’ and ‘I can…’.
Choose your own words to define yourself
If you fail to use words to define your own space and identity, then others will tend to define you and set standards by which you evaluate yourself. They may also try to persuade you to conform to their demands. Be clear about who you are and your values and goals, and do not let others define you.
Avoid criticism and negativity
Criticism should always be given with extreme care, and only when absolutely necessary. If criticism is necessary, then it should be given in a constructive way using positive and supporting words and phrases.