Taste Your Words Before You Spit Them Out By Karen Ward
Have you ever heard someone say something like “I am 75 years old, and I can say what I want to say?” I remember hearing that from a family member and I thought to myself, “No, you cannot say anything you want because you are a certain age.”
As a certified Personality Trainer, I hear comments like this all the time. What is it that makes us think that we can say mean, hurtful, insulting and rude things because we have reached a certain age or because we perceive it as the truth? I think this happens for a number of reasons:
When people have been denied their voice for so many years, it causes them to build up resentment. When they then get to a certain age, they feel as though they have to speak their mind at the expense of others. I also think that some people speak their mind without regard to how it impacts others. Additionally, our personality is the lens by which we view the world; it shapes what we say to others and how we react to what is said to us.
There are three personality styles: The Popular Sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable); Powerful Choleric (ambitious and leader-like); Perfect Melancholy (analytical and literal); and the Peaceful Phlegmatic (relaxed and thoughtful). Each of these personality styles can spit out their words without tasting them first, especially if they haven’t matured or evolved from thinking about themselves first.
The unevolved Popular Sanguine speaks without thinking and is unaware that they have a negative impact on others. The unevolved Powerful Choleric thinks about what they are saying and says it anyway in order to be right or get their point across. The unevolved Perfect Melancholy thinks about what they are saying carefully and says it to set the record straight and to correct others. The unevolved Peaceful Phlegmatic can be very blunt and does not think about the feelings of others. Therefore no personality style is immune from opening mouth and inserting foot.
So why is it that we alienate people using our mouths as weapons? The bible says in Ephesians 4:15a, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love…
What this scripture means is that it is certainly okay to tell the truth, but we should come from a place of love. If you are challenged in this area, you need to question your motives for telling someone the truth. Are you just saying it to get something off of your chest or to encourage, edify or uplift another person? Is saying what you want more important than maintaining the relationship? The key is to think about how the other person will take what you are saying before you open your mouth. Therefore, if you taste your words and they are bitter, don’t spit them out.
By: Karen Ward – Certified Personality Trainer
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