There are always times in our lives when we wished we had said less and done more, or simply just not have opened our mouths to begin with. There is a quote than hangs on my sister’s fridge, “Speak in anger and you will give the best speech you will even regret,” or something to that effect. There is a gem of knowledge in that simple phrase that is easily mined. Think before you speak… what a better world it would be if everyone did this.
I was always told to engage my brain before I opened my mouth… that said it’s apparent that as a child I was always one who spoke before I thought something all the way through. Brashness is a characteristic of children’s speech because they simply don’t know any better. Their life experience sometimes matures more slowly than their ability to repeat things they’ve heard or been told. As we grow up this changes for a lot of us, but some of us don’t master the technique until later in life.
For those who don’t catch on early in life that words have power, real power over the emotions and opinions of others, it can be a tough and rather steep learning curve. Some people go their whole lives without understanding the impact their words have on others – this goes hand in hand with emotional maturity, as the ability to filter our emotions is akin to our ability to filter our words.
Even simple things like the way we respond to one another in short conversations or interactions can have an effect on one person’s entire day. This type of self awareness, this need for introspection is something I’ve written a lot about. This all contributes to a much simpler way of living, doing the work up front allows you to reap the benefits continuously throughout your day and throughout your life.
Before you reply to someone, before you express your feelings, before you ask for something do a gut check and see if it’s the way you intend for it to come out. Check to see if the words fit the situation and the context, I think you’ll be surprised at how much a second or two pause will positively impact your life and the lives of others.