How many times have you said something without thinking and regretted saying it the minute those words came out of your mouth? Most of us have done it plenty of times to know that unpleasant feeling that overtakes your inner soul and makes you gasp for air as you have upset another human being with your inability to stop and think before speaking. This is even worse if such other is someone dear to you, a close friend, a partner or a family member.
Why do we say things without thinking? I could name many reasons, including being tired, in a hurry, anxious about something unrelated, trying to find a quick solution, running late, but there are plenty more.
So how do you prevent circumstances where you end up regretting what you have said. The most obvious solution is to think before you speak. As a Russian proverb states: “a word is not a sparrow, once it flies out, you cannot catch it.” However, this is easier said than done. We say things in the heat of the moment. We often do not pause to think even though we should.
Is there a solution to our impulsiveness? Pause for a second, breeze in and take a leaf out of the stories of Winnie the Pooh, as even Winnie says “a little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference”. This is in no way a discouragement from being honest with others, just a reminder to consider the contents of what you are about to say and how it may affect the other person.
In the worst case scenario, if it is too late and you have blurted out something you did not mean to say or, if you had given it any consideration, should not have said, make sure you apologize and explain yourself. Take responsibility for your words and acknowledge your mistake. As for the future – learn your lesson, as only fools make the same mistake twice.
Remember the words of Confucius – “Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society”.