“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place and at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Dorothy Nevill, Writer & Horticulturist, (1826 – 1913)
Posted at http://theinvisibleshadow.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/mincing-words/
I found this quote and put it in my to-be-written-someday file. A draft post with bits and notes but not published. Then I pull up these half written pieces when my brain seems to have nothing of its own. I go back and read past posts from other bloggers or links or other bits of information. I needed this reminder at this time. I needed to think about not just saying what I want but staying aware that somethings that pop into my brain should not pop out of my mouth. This is not a case of not being authentic. I can still be authentic while keeping my mental rubbish from finding a voice. Some days I do better than others. I learned a lot from KavinCoach and his own ability to say what is helpful and sometimes praying for "God's hand over my mouth." His words actually. My mind is cluttered with unfiltered thoughts. Part of my down time is sorting though things that might seem tempting to say but aren't helpful or kind.
Came across THINK before you speak:
True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind
T - Is it True?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Necessary?
K - Is it Kind?
If I hit no on all of these it needs to stay rattling around in my head and preferably booted out completely. Some would argue to never saying anything that isn't true. That would eliminate the entire fiction portion of my library. I do believe in keeping straight as to which is true and which is opinion or fictional. Fairy tales I am fully aware are fictional and I share them. I have read many beautiful stories that all the 'facts' came from the author's head. I prefer that they state that this is a story to be shared. If they are writing nonfiction I am not comfortable with their using 'creative license' to make up facts. Then comes is it helpful? I can share something that is completely true that is so far off subject that it isn't helpful to say. I understood this better from watching some of the TV shows I enjoy. One of the characters would throw out a random bit of information that is totally irrelevant and distracting to a conversation. My brain works this way. I am chugging along on a chain of thought when suddenly in whizzes a totally random thought that has nothing to do with anything but suddenly demands my attention. My sister refers to these random thoughts as "Squirrels." Is it Inspiring? When I am feeling darkly depressed it is difficult to be Inspiring. I noticed that my post get much shorter and less informative when black cloud of depression settles in for awhile. Eventually I push aside these dark feelings and I am ready to write again. Is it necessary? One of the interesting things about living most of my life as a multiple was the inner dynamic chatter that never ended. Now, with no constant inner conversations nagging at my mind I don't have anywhere to say something that to other people seems completely unnecessary. Learning what I need to share and what is best kept in my broom closet in my brain sometimes requires a bit of trial and error. Is it kind....believe it or not this is one of the hardest for me to understand. Sometimes people lie to be kind but when the other person learns they were lied to occasionally makes things much worse. I remember a few counseling sessions where what was said to me did NOT feel kind but the information was very necessary for me. Kind can sometimes slip into enabling or out right lies. I am not of a fan of Cruel to be kind. However, I know that leading a person up a garden path when you have no interest in a relationship is not kind.
I don't always think before I speak/write. The questions do get me to reconsider what I should say in some situations. However, sometimes no matter what I say it is all wrong because the listener doesn't want to know what I have to say. Sometimes the conversation is not about me.