Your Mind

The Art of Keeping Your Mouth Shut

By January 11, 2016 0

Picture this:

It’s Christmas Eve, your entire family is gathered around the table enjoying a wonderfully prepared, home cooked meal, when completely out the blue, your beloved grandmother decides to voice her very conservative opinion on abortion. You’re furious, but before you open your mouth a verbally blow Grandmom’s brains out you consider your options.

You can:

A) Start a friendly but heated debate that is more then likely going to make Grandmom go off about the “old days” for the rest of dinner and thoroughly piss off the rest of your family or, B) Swallow your pride and let the comment go for the sake of Christmas dinner.

If you’re anything like me, it may be very hard for you not to choose option A, but in order to save dinner and not cause tension between family, B is the best option. Believe it or not, sometimes the smartest thing is to not say anything at all.

Last month, Zoë argued the importance of “speaking your mind” and “saying what you need to say.” I’m sorry to say it, Zo — but I strongly, strongly disagree.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and the key to being successful (no, that was not a DJ Kalhad reference) is knowing when it is appropriate to voice an opinion, drop the F bomb, or crack a racy joke.

I’ve found that when I choose to react impulsively and say the first thing that comes to my mind, it always make the already tense situation, worse.

I think if we were all a little quicker to listen and slower to speak, we’d all be better off. Being a good speaker is always viewed as impressive, but don’t we all appreciate that one friend who is an awesome listener? And honestly, can you even be a good speaker without being equally as good at listening? In order to answer a question completely, you have to listen carefully to the question first.

If what you’re about to say is going to make you look stupid, ignorant, rude or all of the above, just don’t say. It’s simple, really.

Language is an awesome thing, but don’t use it to belittle yourself or someone else. Choose your words wisely and remember what we all learned in Pre-School; if you don’t have something nice, (or intelligent or appropriate) to say, don’t say it at all.