Think Before You Speak

"Think before you speak." It's something most of us have been hearing since childhood, so why is it so difficult to do sometimes? Sometimes we have the tendency to just say whatever pops into our head, and we end up thinking to ourselves later, "Man, why did I say that?!" I've noticed the older I get, the more I find myself realizing how paramount it is to choose words carefully. I find myself biting my tongue often, and listening more while speaking less. Of course it's good to live free-spirited and care-free, but it's also good speak wisely, I'm just sayin'. Whether you're communicating with friends, family, or total strangers, you can ensure you're using your words for good and here are a few principles to do so.

Who's around?
You should consider whoever is around when you're talking. If there are kids around, obviously you want to speak appropriately, and you have a very aggressively-opinionated relative around, maybe you don't want to bring up politics. This one is maybe the most obvious, but I thought it was worthy enough to include because sometimes we forget to watch what we say around certain people!

Is it kind?
If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. I've really been trying to work on that. I feel like I'll say something with good intention, and it will come off completely different. One thing I've really noticed that can help with displaying kindness is to ensure I'm speaking with a softer tone and using a certain choice of words. If you're in a tense situation, you'll notice speaking ~kindly~ will really help to diffuse the situation. And not only is it good to speak with kindness, but speaking positively rather than negatively will also reflect well on your part.

Is it true?
There's no point in discussing things that aren't knowingly 100% true, and not only that, but it will also just do more harm than good. Spreading rumors is never cool, and while most people wouldn't intentionally tell a flat out lie, it's definitely important to watch out for the exaggerations and half-truths that can easily sneak their way into conversations.

Is it necessary?
Something might be true, but that doesn't mean it needs to be talked about. Or, maybe it's just simply not necessary. Some comments are just TMI or will do more harm than good.

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