September 27, 2015

The Most Powerful Word

The Most Powerful Word

I would like to make a bold claim. Ready?  I have the secret to the most powerful word in the English Language.  What do you think?  Would you at least be willing to take a guess as to what it could be?  Okay, let me give you a couple hints:

  • It is a word that can scare people, both to say it and to hear it.
  • It is a word that can be particularly difficult for men in relationships to say to their partner.

Care to venture a guess?

At this point I am assuming that you may have considered the word LOVE.  While that is a GREAT guess, and love is a beautiful word, that’s not today’s power word.

Here are a few more hints.

  • It is a word that is small in stature, but mighty in its execution.
  • It is a helper word that actually empowers other words.
  • He is not nearly as popular as his sister word, which people find far easier to say and hear.
  • Today’s word can take courage to say, particularly when you are the type of person that feels it’s her job to make everyone happy.
  • It is often one of the first words a child learns to say after mamma, or dadda.

How about it? Do you think you have it?  Ready? This powerful word is …


Surprised?  Here are a few more thoughts on this small, but mighty word.

His sister, YES, is way more popular, especially for those of us who tend to be people pleasers. If you want someone to like you, you really need to say YES as often as possible, whether you really want to or not. At least that’s what we think.

OR perhaps you are a fan of his COUSIN, MAYBE. This word seems to roll much more easily off the tongue. MAYBE can be a stall word when you really want to say NO and you are afraid of letting someone down. NO. YES. MAYBE. Of all 3 words, MAYBE is the weakest.  A MAYBE keeps you both on the hook. A TRUE YES or a TRUE NO is much more powerful than a MAYBE.

NO is really a power word. It lets someone know where they end and where you begin. Boundaries. NO is the boundary setter. NO protects you from things that don’t serve you well. When you finally gain the courage to tell someone, “No. Don’t treat me that way.” Or “No. I’m leaving,” you set the standard for how you want to be treated.  Here are a few additional thoughts on the word NO:

  • No is the smallest word that can be a complete sentence. No period. No additional information is really needed. No excuses. Just “No”.
  • No is the way we set boundaries with others. And perhaps even more importantly, no is the way we set boundaries with ourselves. “No, I’m not having that second drink.” “No, I’m not going to hit the snooze button one more time and potentially be late for my workout.”
  • No requires discipline.