I used to have a friend who I considered an intelligent and highly creative writer (well, he actually is). The guy rights effortlessly well. Be it fiction or non-fiction, always making sense.

On the other hand, I was a rigid & (struggling) writer. You could call me a good writer as far as constructing meaningful and grammatical sentences was concerned. But no more. My writings usually lacked the flourish/finesse required to make an interesting read. 80% academic & 20% creative.

So each time I wrote a piece I had spent a great deal of effort on and considered quite good for publication, I sent it to him to critique. However, I observed he mostly downplays them: “No substance, lacking in this, devoid of that, bla bla bla. I can’t remember anything positive he ever said about them. And when I ask him to suggest areas of improvement, he merely makes a joke of it and ‘moves on to other matters’.

I remember writing a short story that I was so excited about. I was sure I had done a good job of the storyline, characterization, plot structure and all. I believed it was going to make an interesting read . But alas, when my good friend read it, he couldn’t see any big deal about it.

It turned out to be one of my best work of fiction.

By the way, I minored in literature so I understand what constructive criticism is and I’m all for it. It brings out the best of a writer. But what my friend kept doing was everything but constructive criticism. More like devaluation. I wasn’t looking for someone to rob my ego. Just someone who could point out

I wasn’t looking for someone to rob my ego. Just someone who could point out what I was doing wrong and how I can do it better.
Each time he makes his comment, I become displeased with what I had written and no longer felt enthusiastic about it. All of a sudden, I start to see from his point of view and begin to consider the writing as no good. His words were getting to me and sowing the wrong seeds.

But thankfully, I came to my senses before real damage was done. I realized that this friend was more of a clog in the wheel of my writing pursuit. As far as getting better with my writing was concerned, he would be of no help to me. There and then, I quit sharing my works with him.

Perhaps his manner of feedbacks was his own approach to helping me with my writing skills. Perhaps he meant well, in his own way. But in reality, with his constant dose of negative words, he was sowing seeds of discouragement in me.

Dear friends,

Words are powerful. They dominate our lives. Be careful the kinds of words you allow to come at you because they create your realities.

Man is a product of words. What he hears, when he hears it long enough, settles in his mind, informs his thought pattern, dominates his consciousness and consequently affects his life and decision making.

Words (whether positive or negative) are like arrowheads. When shot with precision hit the target 🎯 with such a force that leaves a lasting impact.

Negative words have the capacity to….

🎯Set you on the path of discouragement & frustration

🎯Make you devalue yourself

🎯Make you lose your sense of self-worth/esteem

🎯 Cause you to be fixated on what seems to be wrong and lose sight of the wonderful things about you.

🎯 Breed inferiority complex and the need to (over) compensate.

🎯 Limit a man’s progress and make a shipwreck of his goals, dreams and aspirations.

When you have accommodated people who complain about how dark you are long enough, you’ll stop thinking black is beautiful and start considering bleaching your skin.

When you tolerate folks who consistently tells you about how your writing lack form, very soon, you’ll start thinking you are ‘not destined’ to write and quit writing entirely.

When you permit those who never fail to impress on you your supposed lack of business acumen, you end up thinking you are not cut out for business and give it up eventually.

Be wary of

❎People who are quick to point out what you do wrong but hardly talk about good things you do

❎Those who (by their words and actions) make you feel bad about things out of your control – defects and all

❎Highly opinionated folks – your opinion can never count with them

❎People who often downplay your ideas, efforts and activities

❎Cynics and pessimists – everything is wrong in their opinion

❎Bitter people – they speak from the abundance of their bitter hearts

❎Folks who peddle in stereotypes – they are hardly intelligent lot

Rather, surround yourself with

❤️Folks who can criticize you constructively

❤️Folks whose words bring out the best in you

❤️Folks who are full of words of affirmation and encouragement

But more importantly, remember this:

You are what God’s Word says you are. God’s Word should have the greatest influence on you and your life.

Give no room for negative energy. Be particular about the words that come at you!

P.S. This post was inspired by the post of a fellow blogger @theafterthought titled: “The healing Power of Words” You can check out her blog for that post and more refreshing writings.


25 thoughts on “Words!

  1. I like that you point out the people to be wary of. Sometimes we see these patterns but can’t be sure if we are just blowing things out of proportion. We definitely should be mindful of the words we allow to define/make an impression on us. Enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Smiles. What if I told him the fish stinks and he should be careful next time? 😂 – the picture.

    That was on a lighter note, but words are powerful and life and death surely lies therein!. Thanks for sharing bro. 👍

    P.S – And I hope your friend reads this and he acts better in the coming times. 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    1. 😁 That will be a ‘merciful’ approach to the situation. It works for some by the way.

      Very true. Words have a creative force. We need to guard our hearts diligently.

      I hope he does too. Thanks always.


  3. Wow! I really enjoyed reading. These are deep words you shared, Ibukun.
    I can imagine how bad you were already seeing your writings just because your friend who is good at it, did not tell you anything good about your writing. You believed his judgements about your writings because you knew he’s good at it.
    One thing I am really happy about is the fact you realized that your friend’s approach is not healthy for you. I am glad you stopped sharing your works with him. else, you would have abandoned your amazing skills just because his words have been registered in your mind and you accept you are not a good writer. So, I am glad you did not depend on his judgement.

    Perhaps, he meant well. I do hope he realises that approach of correcting is not healthy. Although, you did not fall a victim of his words, but I am afraid someone else might. Imagine if it’s a child who you tell these… These words gradually forms as inner critic in our head always telling us we can’t do what we want to do.
    In summary, 😃 I enjoyed the quotes you shared and picked a lesson or more. Written words can always be erased, but how do we erase spoken words? Not possible. Once it is said, the listener registers it.

    Thank you! Keep writing!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Wow! Such profound thoughts here, Pamela. You really ‘dug into the post and tore it apart’. Meanwhile, I concur 💯 with your submission – that’s just how it is. And true, it’s a good thing I didn’t allow his negative opinions stop me from pursuing my writing goals. I’m not certainly not there yet but I’m surely not where I used to be. Words carry a lot of weight.

      Thank you, Pamela for the interesting contribution. I do appreciate. Meanwhile, I’ll do well to keep writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so true. Surround yourself with the people who build you up and give positive and constructive words. Words do have power, your own words most of all. Other people’s words, you can filter and take with a grain of salt. Great post

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I hope you do not mind a long comment for you post has unleased a flood of thoughts. My father put the first negative word in my and my brothers head. He told us we were pitiful. It’s a word I use now as a weapon when I get a chance to share my testimony. It was the perfect word for God to use when He won my heart.

    I married young to the kindest man I know but he too came from a dysfunctional home and being only 17 we made a mess of the first 15 years of our marriage. Even though he was kind and God gave him the gift of mercy he suffered from low self esteem. So there we were, two people of need of words that have power to lift up. We both found that in God and few of God’s people who can get out of their own heads long enough to lift up another soul.

    We have been married 56 years next months and truly just beginning to have a glimpses of God’s love for us and it’s bringing our marriage around. I looked to my husband for years for value and even with his kindness he was the one I was suppose to be looking to for value.

    It takes courage to drop someone who does not value our worth and seek to built us up. I have a friend such as yours…who will ask me how I am doing and within three words out of my mouth she has interrupted and started her usual rant. In many ways I have dropped her. When we lived close, I on purpose went to a different bible study, stopped sharing my time so freely with her. I now live in another state from her. God’s grace.

    I have read this post twice and will probably read it again since it has shaken some dust off my heart in an area I thought to put aside for awhile. God told me 10 years ago to write my story, I obeyed Him two years ago after having open heart surgery at 70. since then we have made a major move and in a few months we will have our own place again. I must get started back to writing the story of truth dripping with blood. By the way, I think that is going to be the title, Truth Dripping Blood. Your post has spurred my heart and mind to get busy writing, thank you. My mind is clearer then it’s been in a while due to me coming off a pain med on purpose. I knew it was dulling my mind but my chronic pain was so present on a daily bases I just craved relief.

    Thank you for this great post that has lifted my spirit. I read some of it to my husband. He proceeded to tell me how he can tell I am writing better. Maybe your post was more for him then me, actually it was for both of us. Blessings.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I am humbled by your comment on this post ma’am. I’m glad I wrote it and it did bless you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It has opened my eyes more to the potency of our words. It’s so strange what a couple of careless words spoken can do to a man’s life.

      I’m glad things are beginning to take a good shape for you and your family. Nothing is too hard for the Lord and He’ll perfect all that concerns you. Meanwhile, I’m excited at the prospect of you getting to finish and publish your book. I look forward to reading and been blessed by it. Since I’m an editor/proofreader, I’ll be willing to give it a second/objective read and help fine tune it. I think you’ve picked an apt title for it as well.

      I see God making restorations and turning things around for your good. Even the years the cankerworms may have consumed are restored. Do send my love to your husband. Thank you for reaching out. I’m encouraged to do more.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. thank you for the information of our skills and offer, I will remember you when, not if, but when I am finished. I have several friends who have offered to read and help me. It’s good to have an objective person who is skilled though to perfect it. God has provided, more nudging to get back to writing it.

        Liked by 3 people

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