All my childhood I was taught, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” Now, because of this theory, I realize that I have been suffering from a disorder – Biting My Tongue. It’s a disorder that I, like many others suffer from. The side effects include overactive brain, emotional distress, and sudden urges to drink. Well today, I would like to announce that I am on the road to recovery!
We hurt ourselves more than necessary simply by biting our tongues to protect the feelings of others. Meanwhile, we play nice and continue trying to please others when it’s not pleasing to ourselves. We keep our mouths shut so that we don’t make other people uncomfortable. Well guess what – we’re not comfortable! And, we have to stop doing this! As part of my recovery plan, I came up with a few ways to cleanse yourself of this disease.
1. Consider your audience. You can’t speak to everyone the same way. Before you go off on someone, take a deep breath. Now think about what you want to get out of the conversation. Are you speaking to someone you care about, that you can’t live without? Is this your manager who signs your paycheck? If your answer to either of these is Yes, please proceed to number 2. If not, you don’t have to say anything at all. Walk away, hang up, it’s not worth your time. They will get the picture.
2. Consider your tone. Do you tend to yell? This just raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Saying it louder doesn’t make it more effective if the words are the same. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The receiver may be much more inclined to consider what is being said if the delivery is not whack! Tone creates feelings. Days, weeks, even years from now, you may not remember the exact words that were said, but I bet you $5 the recipient of those words will remember how it made them feel.
3. Consider your word choice. Is every word out of your mouth a curse word? That can become annoying and offensive, fast! Do you use big words because that’s your thing and you’re proud of your educational accomplishments or is it really to belittle the receiver? Just think about it….
4. Be honest and state facts. The truth can never be downplayed or disregarded. Your opinion, on the other hand, is a different story. But at the end of the day, honey your opinion is yours and nobody can take that from you. If we all thought the same thoughts, what a grey and broken world that would be! Stating the facts gives the receiver something to consider that likely another reasonable individual could point out. Use “I” statements to explain your perception, understanding, or feelings about something instead of telling someone all the things they did wrong.
5. Evaluate the energy given by your audience. Negative? Remove yourself!! I often hear people talk about how they got rid of someone who wasn’t bringing anything positive to their lives. Well you know – misery loves company. However, in creating peace within my soul and brain, I like to feel more in control of my actions and know that I did my best. In doing so, when I feel it is necessary, I respectfully remove myself from their company. It doesn’t have to be loud and confrontational. You can quietly just stop entertaining their negative conversation, decline their invites to Messy Mondays, and offer them best wishes in life. Go on about your business. Worry about what you can control. I promise there are so many things you can focus on while you’ve still got time on this Earth.
6. Be Yourself! Listen! Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am NOT the friend you put on speaker phone! I might answer in my best singing voice. But I also might just answer with a What’s Up Biiiiiiiiii!!!! My sassy mouth might speak before my brilliant brain thinks. Either way these are all qualities of me. You either love it or you hate it. But I’ll probably keep doing it regardless because – that’s me. Now if it offends you how would I know unless you tell me? See that’s where your control comes in. Tell people what you do and do not like. They can’t read your mind. If someone truly loves you, they will take your feelings into consideration and attempt to improve their behavior. And if they don’t, maybe they are not as interested in you as you thought. Be ok with that. You are not for everybody!! A small circle is not a bad thing. It may be just the thing you need to make your life easier. So save your tongue today and say what you have to say.
Get it off your chest and relieve that stress! You can thank me later. ❤️🦋✌🏽