Friday, January 24, 2014

Stop, Think, Speak

Here it is the end of January, and I haven't posted until now.  Sometimes a subject has to come to me in the form of a slap in the face. I confess to not finishing Christmas gifts(calendars for 2014), and committing to projects that took much longer than I imagined.  Enough of that, because there is a subject that keeps coming to mind.

My blog is about being brave.  So much of the time, I encourage myself and others to speak up, to be assertive vs. aggressive.  On the other hand, I believe it takes as much courage to be quiet, not say what runs across our minds, and right out of our mouths.  It takes self control to stop and think before speaking.  No matter how bad something wants to fly out of our mouths, it is best sometimes to just keep our lips sealed. As a talker, this is something I've been practicing for years now.  I decided that no matter what anyone says that is hurtful, I do not have to react in kind.  Responding is different than reacting. Responding includes thinking first.  

The current situation with Justin Bieber throws a light on this topic. The actor, Seth Rogen, tweeted that, "Justin Bieber is a piece of s___," and person after person agreed with him.  Rogen may think that about Justin Bieber, but what possessed him to say it?  Why do multitudes of people have to agree with him?  What good does it do for such negativity to be put out into the world of Twitter or out into the world for that matter? As much as I know there are people who care about Justin, it seems the negative overshadows the positive.

A friend posted on Facebook today a comment about people bullying and being bullied on Facebook, and that she had decided to focus on her work, to not pay attention to such negativity.  I say good for her!  

Another friend had posted that she has been hurt by comments from people on Facebook, and owned the fact that she has hurt others although she didn't intend to.  I thought she was brave to take ownership of her own behavior.  

I am still replaying words from someone that spoke hurtful to me just days ago.  No, I don't think her intention was to hurt, but I don't think she would have spoken the way she did if she had thought about what she was saying.  Even though I've known this person a long time, and the way she can say hurtful things, it still bothered me.  For years I spoke up about this hurt, yet my words didn't seem to make a difference.  It was a victory the other day to remain quiet, to listen, and think about how I was reacting inside.  It was a victory to not have to get defensive, and to realize that her words were about her inability to think before speaking.  

So, as I begin this new year, I want to continue strengthening my ability to think before speaking.  Not only are my words important, but also the way they are spoken.  If I do speak, will my tone of voice be irritated, angry, or kind?  I declare that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is false.  I want to be courageous enough to think before I say words that can penetrate and hurt someone else's heart and soul.  This includes the words I even say to myself.  


  1. Excellent insights Nancy. I wish more people knew when to speak and when to stay silent. Great article! Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Debi! What a challenge it is! I think "time outs" help too.