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Think before you speak

What you say and how you communicate can make a big difference in how people respond to you. Your words can take you places or can come back to haunt you when you least expect.
by Veera Mahajan

Food for thought

Communication is very important in any relationship, especially for a healthy one. We hear this repeatedly and every good book promotes this sentiment. We try to communicate but we forget the next important lesson. How to communicate? Some suggest, "don't say anything if you don't have anything good to say," which is also good advice if we want to be quiet most of the time. If we are rude or blunt and no one wants to talk to us then we will be having a lot of conversations with ourselves. "Weigh your words before you speak," now there might be a lot of wisdom in this old saying and it might save you and others a lot of stress and grief. Just think about it.

If we write a letter to someone, we usually read it over at least once to make sure it sounds alright. We usually check for grammar and spelling before we send it off. But when we speak, we just say whatever comes to our mind without giving a second thought to our words or even the tone.

"The least amount said is better in a disagreement."

You could hurt someone unknowingly with the words you speak or the way you say them. Once the words leave your mouth, it is impossible to take them back. It doesn't matter how unintentional they may be, words can sometimes cut a lot deeper than a sword. Very often you'll hear people say, "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," well if you didn't want to hurt feelings why couldn't you be thoughtful before you let the unpleasant words escape your loose lips.

Most people are usually nice and polite with people they barely know but end up hurting people they care about, because they don't watch what they say around them. If you are too comfortable with your loved ones and are hasty with your words, instead of taking them for granted, it might help if you could take a step back and think of them as someone else that you wish liked you. Don't forget that everyone hurts. Actually, it hurts more if the pain comes from your own. Since you care for your loved ones, you correct them, but very often your criticism is passed very bluntly, without reflecting on the negative effect it could have. Instead of letting your guard down completely, I think that you would especially watch how you convey the unhappy thoughts, because you want them to be happy. Kind words, even disagreeable ones will help you keep friends who value your opinion.

You do not have to like or even agree with everything your loved one likes. If you have to disagree, please think of the person first and then think of the ways you want to convey your thoughts. You could let them down easy or tell them gently that you don't share their opinion or enthusiasm. The least amount said is better in a disagreement. Listen to their side of the story, but do not make a big deal out of it. Go ahead and make a big deal when everyone is in agreement. Celebrate!! How you say something can do wonders or disasters for you and loved ones.

If we can be courteous to mere acquaintances because we generally do not like to hurt anyone and because we crave to be liked, then, why don't we want to take the time to think and be nice to people who matter the most to us? Why would we want to hurt the ones who stand by us because they already like us?

Smile!! The smile you send out returns to you. Most of the time, anyway!

Veera is a sentimental who has her own guilty moments.

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