To Heal or To Hurt.

Adedolapo Olisa
4 min readAug 3, 2020

I lost my writing mojo. Then I found it eating a plate of Sajj Mediterranean.

I’m trying to figure out which raw emotion is more electrifying;

  • Words that damage people like jokes that pokes. Words that hurt yet make me feel like I have a remote control to another person’s emotions.
  • Words that heal, build people up. Words that instantly flips a person’s mood from dim to bright. Words that lingers and exponentially echo truth in a friend’s ear. So much so that the next time they see you, the difference is clear. They want to talk about the deep seated impact of the words, your words, that gave them life. Words that make you feel like you hold powerful seeds in your tongue.

The truth is, when I choose to relate with you I choose to be vulnerable, and I choose to give you tips and insights on how to ruin my day, maybe even my year. Do it anyways.

For most of my life, I have sought to learn and understand people so I can push their buttons like I have their remote control.

When someone tells me — it hurts me sooo bad when men make comments about the birthmark on my face — my first reaction is to test it. Say something sweet and endearing. See how moved she is by them knowing that the degree to which she latches on to a compliment about an insecurity, reveals how deeply it’s gonna hurt when I poke at the insecurity.

Then without fail, I find a moment when she is happy and in a good mood. In that moment, I poke at the birthmark on her face with the sole purpose to test how happy she must be before poking at that birthmark doesn’t instantly switch her mood. I dial in the test up or down depending on her reaction. In my mind, I am learning my friend. I am being a good friend because I can push my friend’s button and switch her from sad to happy. Conversely, I can switch her mood instantly from happy to sad. This I do. Sadly I enjoy too.

When someone tells me that he struggles with his height. I repeat the same loop until my words are effectively calibrated to toggle their emotions to the whims of my desires. This, I believe, is friendship. To be a friend is to know a friend. To know a friend is to have the right words. To have the right words is to hold the remote to my friend’s emotions.

Control is exhilarating. It brings a form of security, however false. Control is a drug.

Recently, I began to ponder what does friendship mean? Why do I struggle to have female friends? Why do I do so much damage to women? Why are my female relationships toxic? Why do I not go deep with men?

I desire control but I want no responsibility for my often misuse of it. A friendship is not determined by the ability to control another person. The real currency of friendship is how vulnerable I have been with the person.

In a sense, my ability to create a remote control for my emotions and to trust it in the hands of someone else. It’s kinda weird to think about it that way because even now, by that definition, I don’t know that I have that many friends. What I do know is that I am creating a remote control for my emotions and the scariest thing is trusting it into another person’s hands. This is the vulnerability that trust requires.

Have you ever trusted someone that has not been vulnerable with you ?

When I started, I mentioned two scenarios. Words that heal and words that hurt. The truth is the power to heal is wrapped in the power to hurt. The ability of a person to disappoint is the reason their words are soothing.

For most of my life, I have exclusively enjoyed using words that hurt. Sometimes I even lie to myself that they hurt good. This much however I know, there is nothing quite as electrifying as words that heal. It evokes the feeling I imagine a surgeon would have. When you see a physical mess from accidents, injuries, etc and you can take one motion after another in a delicate alignment of right actions until a mess becomes a beautiful reminder of your work. Words that heal weave me into the lives of those that I am blessed to speak the the right words at the right time to.

I try to describe this without bringing God into it but truth be told, the surreal expression of the energy from words that heal cannot be adequately captured without His invitation because to me:

Words that heal are like moments of stepping into the shoes of God except; one isn’t merely in His shoes but He is inhabiting mine.

You have the power to heal, if you hurt. To know that is to entertain a new possibility. A possibility where you begin to give others the opportunity to be inhabited by God to speak words of life into your pain. That level of vulnerability is only accessible to those who choose to heal others.

To heal or to hurt.



Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.