Friday, January 22, 2010
Biting My Tongue
You can ask most anyone who really knows me and they will tell you that I am not one to mince words. I tend to speak my mind, sometimes a bit too freely. I at times lack a filter. My main goal this year is to help more people than I hurt. While it sounds simple, I'm sure it won't be. Today I was reading an article by Phil Ware titled "Ohnosecond!" It's about those little seconds in life where you think "Oh No!" We all have them. (Mine normally occur at work when I've entered something incorrectly but I've already hit enter.) He gave some great advice on how to avoid some of those bigger "ohnoseconds" in life. He said, "Remember the importance of your words. Don't be overly quick to say things, render opinions,or pontificate. Words leave a long residue of stain and pain when they are spoken irresponsibly." That hit home for me. You probably remember when we were young we had the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Well, we know that isn't true. Often, words hurt the most. You can't take them back once they are out there. He also said, "Listen to others instead of just riding out their conversation. To be heard, really heard, is about the greatest blessing we can give someone else." Again, very true. So many times we might "hear" what someone is saying but we aren't listening to them. Put away your cell phone, shut off the TV and become actively involved in conversations. Finally, he said, "Rather than trying to fix what we've said and try to ocme up with something clever or something to cover during that ohnosecond, we need to ask for forgiveness. Not effusively, not repeatedly, just simply: 'I'm really sorry. That was stupid (or insensitive) of me. Please forgive me.' For many people, I think this may be the hardest. It's hard to admit we've done wrong. But, we need to take the time to be adults and admit our mistakes. Your heart will feel so much better by not having that weight on it. I'm hoping by remembering these few things I can eliminate some of the ohnoseconds in my life.