Connect your brain before opening your mouth
We have the ability to communicate our thoughts in real time. We don’t need to plan what we’re going to say beforehand. That is great when we are brainstorming, or when there is an emergency and we need to issue a warning. It can be a problem when what we say on the spur of the moment is something we later wish we had either not said, or said differently.
Have you ever experienced one of this scenarios?
1. You open your mouth before noticing your thoughts and then go: “Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
2. You want to state your differing opinion, but end up “going with the flow” of everybody else’s thoughts, mildly agreeing with what you really don’t agree with.
3. You don’t know much about what is being spoken about, but you “blurt out” an opinion anyway. . . and are embarrassed when the ensuing silence makes you realize it was a really “dumb” comment.
All of the above can be avoided if you just make a habit of paying attention to your thoughts before opening your mouth.
I found this quote on the internet and liked it:
You want to think how will our words sound to the other person. Are they hurtful words or helpful words? Are you talking about what you need or are you sending out accusations? Are you edifying or tearing down?
Often when we respond in a less than appropriate way, it’s because we didn’t fully understood what was being said, or we let emotions take over. Take time to sit back and listen. Listen to what’s going on around you. Listen also to your internal dialogue, your reactions and thoughts about what is going on. Don’t start focusing on what you’re going to say; just be aware, absorb, notice.
Then, decide which of your thoughts and feelings to share and how. Some times, if you wait a bit longer, someone else will communicate thoughts similar to yours, and you can naturally continue the conversation. Other times you might decide it’s not the best moment to share your thoughts.
And when you decide you do want to share your thoughts, you will be able to do it in a way that is clear, concise, and appropriate.
Pay attention to your thoughts!
What do you think?
In what circumstances you tend to say things that, later, you wish you had said differently? How can you be mindful of your thoughts while you are involved in a conversation? Share your comments with us.
Another way to be aware of your thoughts is by learning and understanding your brain pathways. There is a short, well validated test you could take to understand your brain better.