Do you often find yourself thinking back to and regretting your own words? Are you one of the many affectees of the foot in mouth disease? Here are some tips to control this syndrome from someone who had to learn it the hard way. So read on: How To Stop And Think Before You Speak.
How To Stop And Think Before You Speak
Have you ever said something that you instantly regretted the moment it left your lips? Something that made you wish that you had the power to take back time, or the ability to erase the other person’s memory? Something that was so embarrassing or inappropriate that made you want to dig a hole in the ground and disappear in it right then and there?
I will be honest with you. I have. Hundreds of times in my life. The fact that I have essentially no filter between my brain and my mouth has put me in some really sticky situations. Situations that could easily have been avoided if only I knew how to bite back my tongue. Unfortunately, that was a skill I had to learn over several years of my life.
Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I was born with a foot in mine.
Impulsive Speech Can Be More Than Just Embarrassing
At some moment in our lives, we have all made a fool out of ourselves replying with “you too” as the waiter tells us to enjoy our food. For me, that’s just become a direct response at this point. And after a while, it really isn’t that big of a deal, is it? At most, this can cause a transient moment of embarrassment that has us wishing we were invisible.
However, this is the least of the problems you are likely to face if you too suffer from the foot in mouth syndrome. Speaking without thinking can not only cause you a bit of embarrassment, but it can also cost you your job, your relationships, and your dignity.
So, How Can You Stop Yourself From Talking Yourself Into A Corner?
Like I mentioned before, speaking impulsively is something I struggled with for a long time. For some reason, it felt like I had no control of my mouth, and I just HAD to say what was in my head. But after running my mouth a bit too much during some crucial situations, I decided that this has got to go. Though I am still working on perfecting this thing, here are some of the practices that have helped me greatly on my journey.
1. Know when you have to go
The first step to stop yourself from blabbering without thinking is knowing when it is coming. Just like you can tell when you need to go pee, with a bit of effort you can also begin knowing when you are about to say something you might end up regretting.
The secret behind this is identifying your triggers. The next time you lay in bed thinking of all the embarrassing, cringe worthy things you have said, go back into your memories a little more and try to figure out what made you say it. Is there a specific topic that fires you up? Or does being in a certain setting make you chatter nervously? Once you have recognized the triggers that set you off, you will be much better prepared to handle the conversation the next time.
2. Take a moment to assess the situation at hand
When you have learned to recognize your tell tale signs of word vomit, you will know when you need to take a conscious pause. So whenever you feel it coming up your throat, give yourself a second to breathe and think it through.
Notice what is going on around you, who your audience is, and what has just been said. This small pause allows you to gather yourself and is incredibly necessary to compose a good response.
3. While observing, make sure that you are making no assumptions
Though it is important to take note of your surroundings and settings, be sure you are not reading too much into them. If the other person has said they love cats, do not automatically assume that they must hate dogs.
In any conversation, learn to reign in your imagination and stop yourself from making up your own truths. It is safer to not have an idea about something than having the wrong idea about it.
4. Before you speak, stop and THINK
If you have managed to get this far, congratulations! You have just conquered the most difficult part of the problem – maintaining control. Now is the time that you can voice your opinion. But before that, you must THINK.
- Ask yourself if your response is the Truth
- Make sure what you are about to say has a purpose and is Helpful
- Reflect on your words and see if they have the potential to Inspire others
- Is a verbal response even Necessary in the given situation?
- If what you are about to say is not Kind, consider not saying it at all
5. Do not forget to consider the tone of what you are saying
Last but not the least, it is always important to be mindful of the tone of your words. You might have an amazing response in a conversation, but if your tone or language is inappropriate, it can make all the difference. Take note of your audience and make sure your tone of voice is respectable and fitting for their stature. Check out other blogs Here.
Wrapping It Up
Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone started to say exactly what they thought?! The drama would have driven us all insane! Fortunately, humans are blessed with the wonderful ability to hold back their words and choose what they speak. No matter how impossible this little task seems to be at times, you really can control what comes out of your mouth. All you need is a bit of practice to learn some self restraint.
So, follow the above five tips, and watch your life becoming easier and simpler by the day.