“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
The way you communicate with others will invoke certain responses. Sinclair Ferguson has said that, “The tongue is the hinge on which the door into our soul swings open in order to reveal our spirit. In effect, our words are like so many media people rushing to file their reports on the condition of our soul.”
“Harsh” words are painful words. They can be any words that are destructive in nature (e.g., clamor, slander, gossip, criticism, complaint, condemnation). Even a single word (e.g., “Idiot!) spoken with evil intent can bring someone down. Our tongues, as John Calvin said, can encourage and catch and increase the fires of hell. Consider the example of Jephthah in Judges 12 whose harsh words led to a war.
On the other hand, a kind and gentle word spoke with godly intent can bring someone up. Consider the example of Gideon who kind word in Judges 8 brought about peace.
What kind of communication is consistent with you?