The saying goes that actions speak louder than words, and in my humble opinion, that is often the case. In fact, words are barely audible at all. It is simply a fact that we are a treacherous and manipulative species who use speech like a crowbar to leverage our own agendas. Had this never been the case, we would simply live harmoniously with no fear of betrayal or lies. However, we wade through this fear within the sunken pit of social interaction.
This trend most often reveals itself within the realm of emotions. Being told that someone feels a certain way differs greatly from actually acting upon or displaying those emotions—much in the same way that saying that you are going to stab someone differs from actually stabbing them. This point is evidenced by the title, for it is meaningless unless you are reading this and you’re some kind of food item, in which case there are larger forces at play.
One such example of an emotional stab threat is telling someone that you love them. This is possibly the most prime example of this phenomena, for this phrase can be as meaningless as the menace of a knife, or as significant as an actual blade embedded somewhere deep within you. It is a phrase that is so often used, yet it is also so often doubted. Should anyone believe that they are loved, just according to the mere utterance of a series of letters? Should we expect others to believe us when we say this, or should we prove it?
As with most questions of “should or should not,” I cannot answer this unanimously. All I and anyone else can give is our own experience and listen to that of others. Within the scope of the very few yearsI’ve been alive, I have been very rarely ever convinced of emotional issues via the use of words. I base my belief on observation of actions and the correspondence of this action to subsequent emotions. I have been called cold and distant due to my lack of response to verbal displays of emotion—perhaps it is my past that has made me this way. It is near impossible for me to ever be convinced of any emotion if I see no action.
This portion of literary blabbering may seem to make a painfully obvious point hidden behind a bunch of flowery words and an unrivaled air of pretension, but what I am really looking to stir up is the consideration of the subtle juxtaposition of actions and words. Consider how often you say you are fine but then specifically make a scene to bait for a reaction, then think of all the times you got that hit of dopamine when someone finally asks what’s wrong. I ask you to think of that to yourself and to think of it honestly. Our self-constructed social pressure preys upon us and our wishes to care without seeming like we do. Once one learns to match their words with their actions, then they can escape these social confines, for nothing more is expected of them than what is said and done.
Photo Credits: Aaron Almeida