I started college as an English major, so I am always very interested in word choice, either in the written word or in conversation. As a therapist these last 25 years, I'm curious about what people's word choice means about their relationships and their world view. 

What does it imply when one partner describes their home as "my house," their financial resources as "my money," or their shared child as "my child?" There are underlying power dynamics in most human relationships. I often stop couples when they do this, and ask them to reframe their statement.

Words can heal and also have the power to hurt. Children think that as parents, we know everything. (Then as teens, they often find out we don't.) The words a parent says get imprinted on a child's developing core self. I often ask people in individual therapy how their parents viewed them in the family. Were you told you were the smart one or the pretty one? Could you never measure up in your parents eyes to a sibling? Were you told you weren't an athlete, weren't a good student, or couldn't be something you wanted to be?

Clearing up some of those old messages that were imprinted on you by your parents is liberating. Maybe your parents were human, and not clairvoyant or all-knowing. Perhaps it is time to update your own view of yourself, and watch what you say to yourself. Self-talk is powerful. Why can't you feel, think, and be who you'd like to be already?

In your relationships, watch what words you use. Create joining and union with your partner. Focus on we, not I. Share the power, share the ownership, and lean into your closest relationship. You won't believe the difference.