SPEECH IS SILVER, BUT SILENCE IS GOLDEN…

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Ever had that awkward moment in which you blurt something out in the heat of the moment, only realise in hindsight that you might have been better off biting your tongue to begin with?

This territory sounds all too familiar to me, and it’s a path I’ve trodden on quite a few times, often painfully and embarrassingly, and I’d like to think there are many like me who can relate to this shortcoming. By nature, I’m a person who’s not used to mincing my words because I like being direct and straightforward. To put it plainly and simply, I speak my mind because it hurts to bite my tongue.

Before I mention why it’s not always the best trait to enlighten people with the choice words that are lurking in your imaginative speech bubble, I do need to establish that fundamentally, I believe such an attribute can be sometimes advantageous. For instance, if you need to stand your ground, be it in the workplace, at university or in a familial, platonic or romantic relationship, it’s pretty important for the other participant(s) in the conversation to understand where you’re coming from. After all, when discussing issues, the underlying aim is to get your point across whilst obviously keeping in mind any possible viable points made by others. Let’s face it, it’s a conversation, not a soliloquy. This is especially true if it’s an issue that may eventually present repercussions if less words are uttered simply because apprehension got the better of you.

Now, I must admit, saying what’s on my mind allows me to vent out and avoid pent up energy or frustration in an otherwise ‘I wonder if I would’ve or should’ve said that…?’ scenario once the conversation would have ended. In fact, in the rare cases I decide to keep my mouth shut, I generally find myself reasoning in my head about the alternate scenario had I actually said the words I wanted to say in the first place. Granted, there certainly are times where the words I utter are done so to my own detriment, and I unfortunately find myself rethinking what I said and sometimes regretting it, because after all, we’re all the wiser in hindsight. On other occasions, I also feel a surge of guilt creeping up on me, because much like my spontaneous shopping sprees, I sometimes tend to speak in haste.

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Should I just come right out and say it, or not? Well, that’s the thing. There’s never really a clear cut answer!

A good deep breathe is always something I would recommend to someone in this sort of conundrum, not that it always helps mind you, but it does allow you to listen to your better judgement at times. Ultimately, experience has taught me that in real life, people don’t follow the conversation script inside your head, therefore, for this reason, less is more.

If you’re not sure whether or not what you want to express will be interpreted the way you want it to, chances are you should abstain from saying it or at least think twice or thrice before spitting it out. So in a nutshell, be sure to taste your words before you speak them. Otherwise, you must be ready to accept that if the words chosen are not the best, or perhaps in retrospect, you come to the realisation that other words or no words at all would have sufficed, you’ll begin to recognise that while silence may be golden, duct tape is silver!

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