I’ve had it on my heart to write about this for a while, but at the risk of putting myself out there or offending someone, I’ve kinda put it off. But now I think it’s time for full disclosure.
I’m a talk-now-think-later sort of person. I can run off at the mouth and very often later regret what I divulged. I’m impulsive and I generally say what I think. I don’t think this is cool. I don’t think it’s a great quality to possess. In fact, I think it’s quite off putting.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for speaking your mind and “putting people in their place” when the situation calls for it. I’m all for honesty upfront and cards on the table and that bravado that let’s you call out bull dust as soon as you see it.
I believe that being able to guard your thoughts, being able to think something through in your mind, even if it’s just for 3 seconds before you spit it out, being able to hold back when your mind is screaming at you to pounce… THAT right there is an art. And it’s called tact.
There are some people who have tact down to an art. My mother is one of these people. My mother has such a way of saying things that you cannot help but listen and obey. It’s incredible. She doesn’t shout. Ever. She doesn’t use big words or frighten you into action. She just chooses her words tactfully, her words soothe over you and have the right effect on the listener. Like she could tell you that you totally suck or that your hairstyle doesn’t suit you or that you are not a very nice person, without you being offended at all. And yet you would have absolutely gotten the message. It’s amazing.
There is power in the spoken word. Often HOW we say things is much more pertinent than the actual words we use. But the words we use also have the ability to make or break the intended message.
I am so tired of running my mouth. It’s like a bad hangover, when I wake up the next morning and I regret how I said something, or why I said something. And I replay the scene over and over again in my head and I analyse how I coulda/shoudla said it better. And then you are consumed with anxiety as to how that poor person on the receiving end is feeling. You see, we’ve all been on the other side. I think we’ve all been in a situation where someone has said really hurtful things to or about you, where the person has ripped your heart to shreds with the words spoken to or against you. Sometimes it’s in the heat of an argument and we think it’s OK, but long after the argument is over, the words remain. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the crass, ballsy, vitriol-spewing person that I know I can be.
And yes, there is a big difference between being loud, fun loving and the life of the party versus the person who always wants to be right, who’s opinion MUST be heard and who says whatever they feel with no holds barred. You see, I used to think I was the former, but often that line is blurred with the latter. And sometimes I don’t even know who I am. I do.not.want.to.be.the.latter.
So I’ve been praying about tact; believe me it’s a spiritual thing. I know this because I have tried/ I BEEN trying to work on it and still I can’t help but POUNCE. If I was an animal, I’d be Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh: the ultimate POUNCER. Also, people in my circle have been dealing with word issues.. words said out of context / words that hurt / words WOrds WORDS that didn’t even NEED to be said but now it’s too late and those words are out there. I believe the world would be a better place if we all just developed a bit of tact. If the world didn’t view tact as a weakness, I think we’d be onto something. Because that’s what the world thinks, if you hold your tongue, if you allow other people to have their piece while you silently observe… you’re weak. And that could not be further from the truth.There is true strength, beauty and grace in saying what you have to say so that it does not demean, demerit or destruct the next person. And it takes bravery to say what you have to say while keeping the hearer’s feelings paramount. Be brave.
It’s a journey of self discovery, I guess.
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. Proverbs 17: 27-28
This is my jam. And it says succinctly, what I’ve been trying to say in 835 words.