Role of Words in Behavioral Change

role of words in behavioral changeLearn about the role of words in behavioral change from a leading expert on habit formation.

We all use words in our daily life to make sentences and express ourselves through them. The words we use to communicate with others—whether we talk, read, or write—are what matter.

We can better comprehend why we behave in certain ways in daily life by understanding the words and phrases we use.

Anthropologists say that our ability for reasoning developed at the same time as we humans developed language. It’s because the language or words provide us with a source code for advanced thoughts. Before the language, we lacked the ability to think in the ways we think now. 

The ability to think abstractly in small children grows with their ability to understand words. The phrases that people use frequently in their daily lives have a big impact on how they behave as they get older.

Words also play a big role in creating new and eliminating old habits.

If you want to create a new habit or get rid of an unhealthy habit, word choices can enable you to do so. The words you choose can make a big difference in creating your life. Let us dive deeper into how the word influences behavioral change in people.

I’m writing this article because I’m bestselling psychological author and research geek on behavioral change (with 2 million books and course sold). I’ve spent countless hours studying the psychology and neuroscience behind habit formation and the power of small tweaks to create big changes.

That’s why I created the Tweak a Week Online Course – to help people make small, positive changes in their habits that lead to big results.

Words affect behavior

The use of different words determines how much you will succeed in accomplishing something. For example, there are two different words: “don’t” and “can’t”. People use them alternatively without thinking, but both words influence our behaviour differently. 

Imagine that you are cutting down on sweets to lose weight, but you feel tempted every time you see sweets or desserts being served at a party. Imagine that a friend offers you a delicious pancake. What would be your response? Most people would say something like “No, Thanks, I can’t eat pancakes as I want to lose weight”. However, the response can be rephrased as, “No, Thanks, I don’t eat pancakes anymore”

Here the keywords are can’t and don’t. Most people use these words interchangeably in their conversations. However, both words have a different effect on the speaker’s behaviour.

In the first sentence, “No, Thanks, I can’t eat pancakes as I want to lose weight”, the word “can’t” expresses your inability to eat a pancake, although you want to have it. Your decision to not eat pancakes is a compulsion. 

In the second sentence, “No, Thanks, I don’t eat pancakes anymore” the word “don’t” represents your desire not to eat pancakes as you want to lose weight. Your decision to not eat pancakes is your own will. You feel good to stay healthy. 

This is how the choice of various words influences how people behave internally and react to situations in day-to-day life.

As a result, it is critical that we utilise the appropriate language in our daily interactions. 

Words affect our habits

The words we say to ourselves also affect our habits, and that in turn influences our behaviour. For example, if you are in the habit of getting late, you are always telling yourself,“ I don’t want to be late”. When you say these words to yourself daily, the thought of getting late gets deep into your subconscious, and you get stuck in behaviour that makes you late. You do the things that make you arrive late at work. 

On the other hand, when you say, “I am always on time” your thoughts and mind focus on being at work on time. When your mind focuses on being on time, you do the things that make you arrive on time, whether it’s waking up early, or taking a low-traffic route to the office or something else. 

It means the words we say to ourselves greatly influence our behaviour and actions, which affect the results in our daily life. Therefore, we need to use the right words in our daily communications. If you find it challenging to find new words, you can use this website to find the right words. 

Summing Up

This is how words influence our behavior. Also, the words we use while communicating influences the behavior of others. When you praise others, you get a positive response from others. When you criticize others, you get a negative response and negative behavior from the listener. So, the thoughts we think and the words we use when communicating should be chosen carefully.

Get More Support with Behavioral Change

If you’re struggling to make change in your life happen, consider enrolling in my online program Tweak A Week. This course is designed to make it fun and easy to add in new small tweaks to your habits each week.

Think happier. Think calmer.

Think about subscribing for free weekly tools here.

No SPAM, ever! Read the Privacy Policy for more information.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This