Updated: Aug 10, 2022
WHEN THINGS COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH THAT REALLY SHOULD STAY IN YOUR HEAD
“Choose your words wisely. Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in gear.” - quotediary.me
We’ve all been there, “open mouth insert foot.” Like seeing someone you know for the first time after they have gotten a new haircut and saying “Oh how cute, it’s like a little boy cut” and they are 25 years old. Or, seeing a little boy in an elevator and asking “How old are you?” and they proudly state: “I’m six!” and the heavy-set adult responds, “Wow you’re really small for your age.” Wow really?! Does anyone think a six year-old would want to hear that? Everyone knows (even those without children) that little kids like to think they are big and strong or something to that effect. More thoughtful was my six year old who waited for the person to exit the elevator then spouted, “And you’re too FAT for your age!” While I let him know two wrongs don’t make a right - that what he said said wasn’t nice either - I do give him credit for not saying it to the person. At six years old he knew it was rude to say such a thing.
“Think before you act. Think twice before you speak.”-@therandomvibez
Yet, we, full grown adults say inconsiderate things every day. Sometimes we say them thoughtlessly. Our intention isn’t to hurt someone’s feelings, it’s just that sometimes we blurt out the first thing that comes to our mind like a volcano that’s erupting. It’s like it can’t be stopped. But, sometimes we say things knowing they are going to hurt another person. We may even begin the sentence with, “You’re not going to like what I’m about to say…” Well guess what? Don’t say it then! Most of the time the person you’re about to say whatever it is you think they don’t want to hear - didn’t even ask your opinion! Are we so full of ourselves that we just can’t stop talking long enough to realize no one is asking us? You could even say that about this post. However, if you’ve come this far some part of you wants to know more about this “disability” we all have.
“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” — unknown
Some may say, well then they shouldn’t be telling me about it or they shouldn’t be complaining. Really? Is there never a time you just want to vent about something without the need for someone to jam their opinion about you down their throat? I would venture to guess there are plenty of times we all need to just get things off our chest. A long time ago my BFF and I came up with this…when one of us is complaining or venting or whatever you want to call it, we listen and then say “Are you just venting or are you wanting my opinion?” This idea was a Godsend for sure. It avoided a lot of unwanted opinions and possibly hurt feelings. Sometimes we just want to be heard. We don’t need a problem solved or worse someone just blurting out judgments against our character when we are already in a place of vulnerability. With that said, we should learn with whom we should share our vulnerabilities. That’s why we should see therapists. We can say whatever we want without worry of it being repeated and if we don’t want their opinion they will just listen (or at least they should, LOL).
What makes some things worse is many of these conversations or comments are done via text. So there’s no “Oops I didn’t mean to say that.” You had plenty of time to figure that out while your stubby little fingers were tap tap tapping away on the “keys.” Still my favorite is, again, ”You’re not going to like what I’m about to tell you.” How about asking the person if they want to hear what you have to say before forcing it on them. Or are we so self important that no matter what the person on the other side has going on in their life, or how down they may be feeling, we just HAVE to speak OUR truth! Which by the way doesn’t make it true. Do we so strongly need to give our two cents -which by the way isn’t worth much anymore- that we can’t just keep our mouths shut?
“If you can’t be kind, at least be quiet.” - unknown
It may seem like I’m venting. Maybe I am. The idea for this blog actually popped in my head a couple of weeks ago when I overheard the first comment in this article about the haircut. I couldn’t believe my ears. This young man is one of the kindest people I’ve met. I could see by the look on his face that he was a bit irked. I was thinking, she could’ve just said, “Hey nice haircut.” So I said to him, “Hey, I’ve got an idea for a blog ‘Does that really need to be said?’ He started laughing and said “Ya that would be a good one!”
Since then, I kind of forgot about it until someone said something to me that got me thinking about it again. So here it is. Just a reminder to whomever this may resonate and to myself, before speaking ask these questions:
What is your motivation for wanting to make the statement or opinion?
Are you truly trying to help or are you being judgmental?
Do you think you are right and what they are doing is wrong?
Are you trying to make this person change who they are and do what you think they should do?
Are you trying to hurt their feelings because what their doing is actually something you would like to be able to do?
Does it really need to be said?
What good will come of it?
Do you think it will hurt their feelings?
Will it do more harm than good?
Will it cause a rift in the friendship?
Is it kind?
These are all, of course, only suggestions. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do, I’m just trying to help in anyway possible for this world to be a little more pleasant. I benefit by writing this as well. It is a good reminder to me that I don’t always need to say some of the things that I say. It’s a reminder to be a bit more mindful when I speak. It doesn’t mean it will work, but I can always try! Like my mom always said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”