How many times have you blurted out something and then almost instantly wished you could take it back? How many times have you been sad/angry/confused/afraid and said something to another that you didn’t mean to say? I’m sure this has happened to all of us at one point or another. When having a heated conversation, I find that I sometimes allow my emotions to get the best of me and let my anger do the talking instead of letting my heart speak. When I blurt out random things based off my emotions, instead of tuning in and figuring out what I really mean to say, I end of up feeling guilty, remorseful, and embarrassed. To steer clear of similar situations in the future, I took the opportunity today to teach a simple rule that I need to learn, which can ultimately benefit our communication skills and happiness alike: to think before you speak.
You’ve probably heard this catchy phrase for as long as you can remember, but do you actually follow it? Sure, knowing how to speak on the spur of the moment is important and is utilized constantly throughout our days, but for those touchy conversations with loved ones, it can benefit us all to follow this simple rule. Here are a few simple tips when it comes to thinking before you speak, which can be especially important in situations of conflict, confrontation or the like:
- Before letting someone know how you feel, delicately review it your head to make sure you are able to express it the way that you desire.
- Steer clear of having conversations when you feel angry or upset. Cool down and take a break. When you feel calm and collected you’ll be more likely to have a healthy and constructive discussion.
- Don’t be afraid to ask, “Can I think about this for a bit and let you know when I’m ready to talk about it?” Taking some time to formulate a response is surely better than saying something you’re unsure of.
- Pay attention to your tone. Talking down to another in a rude/angry manner can cause them to feel defensive, which can hurt the both of you and hinder the overall quality of your conversation.
As much as I’m sure we all wished there was at times, there is no rewind button for life and no words can be taken back. While expressing your true feelings, needs, and desires, speak with conviction and speak carefully. By openly communicating and thinking before you speak, you may discover an enhanced quality of your relationships, which can increase the quality of your life simultaneously.
Happy thinking before I speak,