Valentine's Day Tip For Me - Shut My Mouth
Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought I would share a tip for the guys (and maybe a few girls) out there to help with communication in your relationships. It’s one of the techniques I sometimes find myself reverting to when I realize that I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Otherwise known as having what my mother used to call, ‘Hoof in Mouth Disease’.
The technique I’m referring to is to simply bite our tongue. Instead of saying the first thing out of our mouth, holding on for a few seconds to check in our mind, and in our heart, if it’s going to be positive and uplifting. If not, best not to say anything. The Mrs will tell you when I do that, things are much better around the house. It’s when I just ramble on chasing my thoughts down a rabbit hole that, well, things go sideways…
Men are notorious for speaking before thinking; especially after being married for a while. It’s easy to get to that point in a relationship, frankly. The subtle niceties gradually fade away under the blinding light of familiarity leaving only the blunt force of raw honesty.
Some people like that type of communication (especially those from New York), and so do I (at times). The good thing about blunt, open honesty with our thoughts & feelings is that it leaves nothing to the imagination. People will know where we stand (that’s for sure). They may not like us too much, but at least they know how we feel.
That said, the Bible suggests that we should be slow to speak and quick to listen. It’s an old adage that will go a long way in building trust, openness, and good communication. Unfortunately, when we are angry, or just irritated, those helpful scriptures tend to find themselves being left somewhere in the back of our brain only showing up when we’re in the middle of giving ourselves that, ‘Why did I say that? I’m such an idiot’, talk.
So, tomorrow on that special holiday celebrating your love together with that significant other, I want to challenge you to try the technique. Pause before speaking and test what you were going to say in your mind. If it has a hint of negativity, think of something positive to say (as long as it’s true of course) or, just smile instead. I guarantee it will make for a much better day. I know that’s what I’m going to do…
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