We all use language codes. According to Basil Bernstein's theory, already as children, as a result of socialisation with our immediate environment, we acquire a language characteristic of ourselves, which can be limited or elaborated. It all depends on the type of communication we are immersed in.

It is the same with the recognition of our own agency. We often use statements such as "I made it," "Stupid is lucky," and "Somehow I made it." In this way, we surrender our own empowerment to the role of chance, thus taking the credit away from ourselves. However, the psychology of such escapes is linked to a sense of responsibility, which we simply prefer to avoid, as well as embracing our own resources.

Language can also be an affirmation. If you say that you notoriously don't have something—e.g., time or money—you are actually programming this state. Language is really just an outward manifestation of our inner priorities and meanings. So it serves to express outwardly the beliefs you carry about yourself and the world. Have you ever subjected your own language to analysis?

Language of childhood

We could hear during childhood words such as "don't cry" and "nothing like that happened." These seemingly innocent phrases, spoken out of goodwill, affect our perception of our own emotionality. To some, it may give comfort; others will freeze their own emotionality because they will perceive it as an order to take away their right to their own feelings, seeing them as unfounded and misleading. This is how some children can lose confidence in themselves, being ashamed of their own crying because it is, after all, 'unnecessary', and this can lead to so-called emotional freezing or dissociation.

Chinese medicine treats the subject of freezing, situating it in the context of trauma and the theory of the five elements. According to this theory, the metal element is linked to the withdrawal response, in which we cut ourselves off from our own feelings. Consequently, people with the metal personality type can be resistant to any change, depressive, and perceive the outside world as superior to themselves. Any change in metal involves the risk of rejection and lack of acceptance.

Can parental language, therefore, influence a child's personality? Unfortunately, family communication is of great importance for the child's self-perception. As a result of the words heard, the child perceives—given or taken away—rights. The language you use to describe your world becomes the child's inner language and his dialogue with the world. It is this language that will be decisive in shaping his ability to form relationships with himself and with the world, and it will become a determinant of how well he will be able to take care of himself in the future.

Proverbs versus reality

Another example of linguistic conditioning is the use of proverbs, which subconsciously encode you with beliefs and intentions that you would not normally consciously want to adopt into your life. For example, there are a lot of different sayings about hard work and how much it benefits you until it leads you to your desired goal. Is it really like that, and is this the kind of life we want? Who said that only hard work could lead to success? Sometimes it is enough to be guided by experience, at other times by courage and intuition, and at others by creativity and innovation. And the key to success does not have to be hard work at all, but recognizing your strongest and most authentic sides, because the attention of others follows. We cannot sell what we do not believe in and are not ourselves.

We can also find many proverbs referring to poverty and the virtues of virtue. Is it really the case that affirming asceticism is a good way to attract abundance in life? Are we not thereby denying the right of people with material conditions to honesty and happiness?

The language of the jackal and the giraffe

Developing the issue of belief-free language, we can distinguish language allegorised by Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of the NVC (non-violent communication) method, as the so-called language of the giraffe and the jackal. This communication compiles examples of two patterns that people can fall into. The language of the jackal represents violent and critical communication, whereas the language of the giraffe indicates empathy, dialogue, and kindness. Following the language of the giraffe here involves using messages based on expressing our feelings and, thus, taking responsibility for our words. In simpler terms, giraffe language avoids projecting the expectations of others and relies on messages based on their own needs, e.g., "I need you to listen to me" instead of "you never listen to me," etc. Language in this sense can be a gateway to empathic communication; of course, it doesn’t mean to manipulate the empathic attitude to one's own benefit. Nonetheless, non-violent communication can be a compendium for a paradigm shift in the perception of communication, in which we unconsciously plant the seeds of our own beliefs, expectations, rules, or projections, unintentionally hurting the other person with these impurities.

Communication free of violence and conditioning can be the threshold to our development. Only by releasing ourselves from unnecessary and damaging impositions do we have the chance to create a life of which we are the authors and not an accident. Heard folk wisdom is often no longer relevant; it is just as important to give ourselves credit in an assertive way. Generations ago may not have been allowed to recognise their own actions, especially between the wars, but you can enjoy your own potential by acknowledging your achievements at every turn. So you don't have to belittle yourself or direct your frustrations outwardly at other people. Don't forget that you are the one who determines the value of your words, and you are the one who sends messages out into the world that are nothing but a reflection of your inner world. What's more, every word actually comes back to its recipient, which is you, so it’s better to not say what you are not part of.