I know that too often I will have one of those experiences where I truly wish I could take back what I just said. Yes, I confess to having ‘hoof and mouth’ disease. I just put my ‘foot into my mouth’ thinking that I was being funny or trying to get back at someone. It happens to all of us just as we are responding in haste to an e-mail to someone that the second after I hit send I have this sense of regret. Maybe I shouldn’t have said what I’ve said or that picture I so easily posted on Instagram or Facebook has become the laughing point for too many.
I was raised by a mom that at times could be too honest and too frank. I can remember as an adult trying to explain to my mom that being honest doesn’t necessarily mean that you tell someone that they are fat, too wrinkly or have the wrong hair color. The challenge today, different from the non-internet and cell phone day, is that once we e-mail or post something it is out in cyberspace forever. What I just said in anger can be used against me in the work place or even in court to get a restraining order against me. I had a close friend who almost went to jail for just joking around about guns and about shooting someone.
I’ve had too many experiences in life where I said something that given more time to consider I wouldn’t have ever opened my mouth! I so much appreciate this picture I posted from gratitudehabitat.com that helps unfold what should come out of my mouth if I’m going to actually say something. My mom use to always tell me if I didn’t have something nice to say that it’s best to say nothing at all! So if I step back and think about whether my speech is going to be kind, helpful, inspiring and is a real necessity then it’s best to ‘shut my trap’!
Some would say that it should be clear that because we have two ears and one mouth that we should be quicker to listen than pop off with our mouth. Yet, it never fails that the person who does have issues with their speech is always the one to control a conversation or get up in front of a meeting to either boast, put someone down or just listen to themselves talk. It’s tragic to think of how many families have major fights over what would be deemed senseless ‘stuff’ when you look back over 20 years and realize what caused the division in the family is often forgotten.
Gossip, bragging or stretching the truth will ultimately hurt someone and eventually come back to ‘bite you’! So why open your mouth unless you are going to speak life into someone? Time to starting THINKING before you open your mouth!