About seven years ago, I came upon a message in the Usenet newsgroup where someone was asking what the most influential words were. While I realize he was looking for some famous speech or book, it occurred to me to answer with this:
In all seriousness, I’ll nominate “I love you” as the most effective or influential words ever. They never fail to produce either positive or negative results. They can bond two people together forever or blow apart an otherwise perfectly blissful relationship. And, of course, there’s all that religious stuff about God loving people and that we should love our neighbor, though in today’s world those things are becoming less effective.
Still, try this test: tell someone you love them. Guaranteed it will produce an immediate result, ranging from the excited “You do!”, to the mundane “Yeah, I love you, too,” to the offended “Buzz off, turkey.”