Ever made a decision to say something you regretted saying as soon as the words came out of your mouth?
Sure you have! We all have.
At some point, you have blurted, whispered, tweeted, emailed, or conveyed information in whatever method you chose to use that instantly lowered your IQ, at least in the eyes of your immediate audience.
Now, depending on who was present when you let the words roll down from your brain, bypassing your filter (if you even have one), and sliding off your tongue at neck-breaking speeds, your level of care could be different.
If your audience was someone who you really didn’t know or you really don’t care for, then it’s probably not that big of a deal.
However, if those present at the time of the verbal explosion were people you have an ongoing relationship with, more than likely, you probably wish you could take those words back.
If the second scenario is the case, then let me share one piece of advice from the bible that could help you not only have less of these embarrassing moments, but it could also make you look smarter. And it’s actually pretty simple.
Are you ready?
Learn the lost art of silence
Learn the lost art of silence!
Maybe it’s not what you expected, but the Bible says in Proverbs that Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Yeah, that might have stung like salt on an open wound for some of us who have a real hard time keeping quiet. But the reality is that it works.
Side note: I’m by no means saying I’ve mastered this (just ask my wife), but there have been several occasions it has helped me pause when I wanted to say something. And in most cases, it turned out to be the wiser decision, because I quickly changed my original reply once I realized what they were saying and what I was hearing were completely different.
Make space for wise decisions
Maybe the wisdom in keeping quiet is giving yourself time to think before you speak.
It’s not easy, but I encourage you to make an effort to use God’s ratio (2 ears for 1 mouth) for speaking versus listening today – listen twice as much as you speak!
Another way to think about it is that many times in communication listening is twice as important.
Twice as important – Twice the impact
Maybe another to look at it that might excite you a little more.
If listening is twice as important, then that means it can have twice the impact. Listening before you speak can mean that you get it right the first time and avoid making some significant mistakes.
And that one decision worth making.
Is your pride keeping you from being a better listener?
Are you willing to take God’s subtle hint (2 ears – 1 mouth)?
Do you value people enough to show them you care about what they have to say?
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