When you look at your image in the mirror and see that you look good, what do you do? Give a curt nod, pat yourself in the back, shake your hands, smile at your image, blow it a kiss, praise it, or simply walk away like nothing happened? What if the image staring back at you shows something you don’t want to see? Will you go back to address the matter or simply pretend the image is lying? Now, assume that the person in the mirror is someone else and you can see everything about him, including the emotions reflecting from his eyes. This, fortunately and/or unfortunately, is how your language displays your image to others. The same way your mirror is honest to you (at least some mirrors) is the way your language tells the truth about your hidden self.
Unknown to many people, one of the easiest ways of detecting their personalities, cultures, ideologies, upbringing, and belief systems is through their language (be it verbal or non-verbal). What you say and the manner with which you say them give insights into your character and life’s perspective. This can give you a clue on why people that want to evaluate others keep them talking until they could reach conclusions about them. This is why people are told to be mindful of what they say because they reveal things that are deep down their hearts.
Studies have shown that your language, including your grammar, defines your reality. These studies have observed that a person is controlled by what he says and that he only says reveals what he knows and believes in. That is to say that the language you use limits what you are exposed to. On the other hand, you can’t give what you don’t have, hence you can’t say what you don’t know. This discovery has been theorized (Linguistic Relativity/Whorfianism/Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) to show that your cognition and world view are linked by the type of language you use because your language is an embodiment of your experiences.
Language is also used as an identity marker. Your origin can be determined by the language you speak and how you use it. Your choice of words can reveal the social, professional, or underground groups you belong to. Your educational level, religion, and political affiliation also show in your language. This explains why you can identify your clansman in any part of the country. Gangsters and cultists can also identify their members and oppositions through their argots and slang.
A person’s temperament, desire, hatred, support, guilt, and mindset reveal themselves in his choice of words and sentence construction pattern. No matter how he tries to hide those, he will leave context clues unconsciously when he speaks. Anyone that wants to find out your attitude towards a controversial issue will only listen and watch you talk about it or matters related to it. No matter how you pretend about the issue, your body language, sentences patterns, words, tone, and pitch will tell it all.
Many people have been specially trained to hide their image from the mirror, the language this time. They have been taught to choose their words carefully to reveal little. These are the ones that believe they can hide their feelings or experiences about an issue from their listeners and viewers. Some have successfully confused a few but many could still guess their lies. However, the best technique these people use is to avoid circumstances that draw them into conversations that will display their knowledge. But then, it will still be obvious that they are hiding something.
Is there any way a person can change or distort the image in the mirror? Well, I doubt if there is because a mirror will always be honest. If you crack it, it will reveal your image in a million pieces and only end up giving you a migraine after it has caused you a heart attack. The only way to make your image look good is to look good yourself. Hence, for your language to provide a consistent appealing image to your listeners, readers, and viewers, you need to work on yourself from the inside. Remember, you can’t change the image in the mirror without first changing the one outside the mirror.