Language mastery will make you master yourself

A language theory

I have a theory about language. The argument is the better your grasp of language the better control you’ll have over your emotional state.

For the sake of clarity, I don’t think that grasp of language is the only factor when it comes to emotional control. I don’t even know if it’s top ten. This theory is for fun.

There’s someone smarter than me who has already come up with this theory. I don’t know who that person is. If you know would you mind leaving a comment because I’d like to know more.

Family matters

Let me tell you about my family. There is a language barrier in our house. It would be my mother and me on one side, my father and sister on the other.

What I’m about to tell you is an observation. My sister and father are quicker to anger than mother and I. That could be because of personality or another factor. Either way, it got me thinking.

I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but my sister and father occasionally struggle with words.

Now I know correlation isn’t causation but could it be a factor. Sometimes I can’t grasp what they are saying to me and the other way round. Is that what leads to clashes, it could be part of the reason.

The diving bell and the stupid guy

The next guy that I want to tell you about definitely lacked intelligence or I could be wrong. Thinking back, was this person dumb or was it their inability to express themselves that made me feel that they were sub-par intelligence. This guy could barely string a sentence together, and he always seemed angry.

The anger may have had many sources, but I believe part of it was his inability to make himself understood. Those he spoke to, unable to get his meaning, would frustrate him by misinterpreting his words.

You’ve probably experienced it yourself, on holiday. You get frustrated because the person your trying to get help from has limited English. You want to be understood but are unable to make that possible.

Do angry people feel like foreigners in their home country?

Is anger partially brought on by being misunderstood? If that is the case, then you would be better off being the best equipped when it comes to expressing yourself.

You do that by having power over language and extending your vocabulary.

Language and words have power

Words have power. They shape your reality. Want proof, think about yourself reading these words as they filter into your brain. They are squiggles that make sense to you. Your wondering where am I going with this, get to the point.

Words are seeds planted in you. You feel those words under your skin burrowing deeper and deeper. It may not be, but you can feel it bubbling up somewhere inside of you. You may not even be conscious of it, but you feel that burning sensation making you want to itch. You’re probably resisting the urge to itch to prove me wrong but why? I’m not there. I’ll never know if you itched or not.

Expand your vocabulary. The more words you have, the better you are at expressing yourself. The better you are at expressing yourself, the less likely you are to be misunderstood. Words have the power to change you and other people’s perception. If you want to control your reality, maybe even others then control your language.

One aspect of having a more extensive vocabulary

If you’re going to extend your vocabulary know this: be careful with big words. Having the vocabulary and being able to use it are two different matters. Big words are nukes of language. When you and the person you are talking with has them, then it’s better not to have to use them because it becomes a dick-wagging contest.

I love big words. The musicality they bring to a conversation, but I have to try to simplify the words I use consciously.

Let me butcher a football analogy. Back in school, there were two kinds of footballers, the good player and the player who had all the right gear. The person with the kit tended to suck and needed the equipment to compensate.

About language, I was the guy with the gear. I had big words, but I couldn’t communicate well with others and that frustrated everyone. Knowing which tools to use is as important as which ones you have.

Over the years having an extensive vocabulary I’ve realised that being concise with your words is helpful when it comes to being understood.

How you can improve your language power today

The best way that you can increase your power over language is by reading. Read anything you like, but I recommend books. You know, like actual physical books.

You may have a kindle or read off your phone, but there’s something about holding the physical book in your hand.

Physical books feel less disposable than a piece that you’re reading off a screen. The blue light that comes from our phones messes with our circadian rhythms. This is why you must not bring your phone to bed with you.

While non-fiction and biographies are OK, I recommend that you read fiction. Fiction can increase your word power. It has the bonus of strengthening your empathy muscle. When you have to see the world through someone else’s eyes, you’re developing your empathy.

The best way to read them is to have a notebook beside your bed. When you encounter a word that you don’t know, make a note of it and look up the meaning the next day.

Once you have the meaning of that word, then use the Clueless method. From the film Clueless you take the unfamiliar word and use it in your language. You do so that the word becomes naturalised.

Good luck and I hope that you increase your capacity to use language and gain emotional mastery.

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