Words are my specialty…my currency…quite frankly…Words are my lifeline…but they’d kill me if I’d let them.
I can remember being told I “talk too much” for as long as I can remember. My husband, my teachers, my cousins, my mother, my friends, my aunts…you name em…they’ve told me. Too much, too loud, too firm, too long…too everything…and at this point I’ve accepted it, albeit became a little self-conscious about it. I honestly can’t help it…words just…flow…out of me…even when I try and control it. But I’ve gotten a little better at what I let “flow” and what I let “go”.
There was a time when I prided myself on being “filterless”; on saying what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, to who I wanted…Period. If you didn’t like it…too bad…deal or don’t…I said what I said and I meant what I sent. Far too many of my colleagues, friends, and family can attest to my fiery wordflow…more than I’d like to admit…(lol in shame).
In hindsight, I think I felt a certain confidence in my ability to speak my truth (or yours if you didn’t speak up for yourself) and it muted the insecurities I felt in other areas. What I did not grasp yet at the time, was the greater power in being able to bridle my blabbing and significance of pausing and pondering before presenting my prose. As a result, I lost positions, promotions, friends, and family; And even if my pride wouldn’t let me show it…I felt it…deeply.
So…I had to evolve…mostly by force, some by design, and a little by choice and learned a few things along the way. Words are POWERFUL, LIFE CHANGING, and LASTING. If you underestimate that reality, you will find that your words and how you wield them will affect every aspect of your person and the persons around you, along with other things. The level of humility it requires to “think before you speak” is minimal but the payoff can be monumental.
A quote I saw some years ago really stuck with me ad has been my go to mental parking spot when my emotions are driving my words to the tip of my tongue. It reads…”Before you speak…T.H.I.N.K.” Ask yourself “Are the words I’m about to speak…”:
- T= True / Thoughtful
- H = Helpful /Hurtful
- I = Inspiring / Inflammatory
- N = Necessary / Negative
- K = Kind
By the time you do that mental inventory…you’ve usually given yourself a beat to process your emotions, possibly evaluate the recipients intentions, and comprehend the implications (personally, professionally, spiritually, financially, etc). Now…this is not to say that some people don’t earn an occasional verbal violation, nor does it suggest that I won’t still light you up linguistically (I’m still a work in progress…work with me here…lol).What it does encourage is consideration of the long-term effects of some emotionally charged chatter that sometimes isn’t worth the energy to exert to let it all out.
The next time you’re on the verge of shouting your “strong” opinion from the rooftops so to speak or “tell someone like it is”…take a minute…T.H.I.N.K.. Save yourself some stress and possibly force some growth. Yield before you wield and then see how you feel. I don’t know it all but I’ve learned a thing or two in my trips around the sun…so these are my thoughts in this ~Life as a Whyfe~