One of the most significant attributes of human beings is the ability to communicate through speech. But this boon to communicate could well turn into a curse if you are a person who communicates your thoughts without proper thinking. Most of the times you will be regretting having spoken something at the spur of the moment. Though you may attribute uttering something without thinking to a stressful situation or a confrontation, it is still undesirable. This act of communicating without thinking and later wishing that you had said it differently or you had not said it can be controlled if you make conscious efforts for thinking before speaking. This does not rule out the scope for natural conversation. But, it helps yo develop an awareness as to when you can speak naturally, when to think before you speak and when you should not speak at all.
Why should you think before you speak?
There are a number of reasons as to why you should think before you speak. Some of the important reasons are
Words have power
A quote by Napolean Hill goes like this” Think twice before you speak because your words and influence will plant the seeds of either success or failure in the mind of another”. Therefore, before you speak, think. If you do not make an effort to think before you speak you will not have the time to consider the words you are about to use. You will also not be able to consider what it would mean to the person to whom you are speaking and how the person would feel about it.
Your words define you
Words that you utter either thoughtfully or thoughtlessly are being assessed by the person to whom you speak to. Your words would reveal insights about the type of person you are to the listener.
Your words can help or hurt
As mentioned earlier, your words can be helpful or hurtful depending on how you put it forth. Therefore, it is important for you to take time to think and utter words carefully so that it makes rather than mars relationships.
Your words reveal you
Irrespective of whether you speak a few words or keep talking non-stop, you will find that it reveals a lot about you to the other person. It would clearly showcase your intelligence or ignorance to the people around you.
You cannot take back your words
When you have said something you should not have said, it stays. No amount of apology or even acceptance of the same would make it possible to take back the words once uttered. This highlights the need to be careful when you speak.
Hence, how to learn to think before you speak is a must learn and must acquire the skill.
Thinking before speaking
• The first step to stop speaking without thinking is to become aware of the bad habit in you and accept the fact that you need to control your tongue. If you do not accept this, you are not going to be benefitted.
• Once you have accepted that you need to control your tongue, diligently engage yourself in the practice to close your mouth as soon as you open it. if your not able to do so, it clearly shows that you are just talking and not reacting after thinking. Closing your mouth will help you to break this pattern. It would help you to take control and give yourself time to choose what you want to say and use the words in the right way to convey what you wish to.
• Make sure that you speak only what you are ready to take responsibility for. It is indeed to blurt something and then apologize saying I wasn’t thinking. This is not right not only because the damage is already done but also because when you make it a habit of speaking out and apologizing later, you will never learn to correct this fault of yours.
• An easy way to break the habit of talking out and then apologizing is to take a vow not to talk about whatever is bad, destructive and unpleasant.
Speaking and staying out of trouble
Here are certain simple measures you can adopt to ensure that you put power into your speech and also stay out of trouble.
When you talk too much, quite often you would be blurting out words that you ought not to. Talk crisp and clear so that the message is conveyed to and is understood by others. Most often than not the words you add as fillers to the communication would actually be those that are spoken without due thinking. Before you speak, it is better to ask yourself these three questions?
• Is the information you are about to convey true?
• Is it something that would make the other person happy?
• Is it necessary that the information has to be conveyed?
If the answer to the questions is yes, speak carefully after ensuring that you use the right words in the right way to convey the information. You might consider this to be a lengthy process that would take a long time for you to talk or respond. But, in reality, our brain is a supercomputer that will process all these quite quickly. You only need to make a conscious effort to make it work this way.
Avoid talking about what is bad?
Avoid talking about bad, destructive and unpleasant subjects. As most of the times, it would just turn out to gossip where you just blurt up words that are not based on any evidence. This might add up and leave you feeling guilty about what you spoke, later. Even if you have to convey some negative information find something positive to say that is good enough to offset the negative information or be brief in conveying it.
Acknowledge the good
Never withhold words of praise or appreciation. If you get into the habit of talking only what is good and pleasant, you will start looking for the good in others. When you praise a person honestly, it would actually make others respond to you positively. This would make you confident and successful in life.
The answer to how to think before you speak is to, Think before you speak in such a way that the tongue does not become your master and you remain the master of your tongue.