Think, Then Speak

“Thinking is difficult. That’s why most people judge.”

It is likely that you, as a reasonable person, accept the wisdom of thinking before speaking during moments that matter. If that is true, you are not alone. Most reasonable people appreciate the value of this principle. However, people do not always act in line with it, and, when they speak impulsively, an unwanted result may follow. Something that has been said can not be ‘unsaid.’

Consider just one fact that adds to the problem. The world we live in operates at a breakneck pace. The media which bombards us night and day always runs in high gear. Music, video games, television shows and movies, all go very fast. News commentators and politicians talk fast. They don’t give us time to think about what they’re saying. Our attention spans have been reduced dramatically. Just notice your reaction if your computer does not load up fast enough or if you can’t get onto a website in a second or two.

One of my clients, thirty years old and single, said that he has no time for fun. He has no time for himself. He works a normal schedule, and apart from work, is not required to be anywhere or do anything. Yet, he chooses to go, go, go without stopping, even after he gets home. Anyone, regardless of her life situation, can overcomplicate her life so much, that taking time to think, to slow down and to give herself a break does not even occur to her. It’s no wonder, being conditioned to go fast and to occupy every second of our waking hours, that we do not always think before speaking.

But the pace of the world, along with other elements of our environment, is not completely responsible for one’s inability to think before speaking. The tone of your original family made an impression on the way you think and act. If you were raised in a busy home with lots of people competing for attention, you might have developed the habit of acting and talking too quickly. If you were born with a very active brain, you’re a quick thinker; sometimes your speech can’t keep up with your thoughts, so you feel the need to talk fast and react instantly. 

Whatever the explanation is, it is clear that failing to think before speaking can create personal problems in every area of life. As I was learning to do therapy, viewing my sessions on video tape, I was not impressed. I interrupted my clients, I tried to solve issues too fast and was obviously uncomfortable with silence. But that changed. It took time, plenty of time. But it changed significantly. 

So, the bottom line is that the ineffective habit of speaking before thinking can be changed. Even someone who has had the habit of impulsive speech for many years can turn it around, if they really want to do so. I promise no quick fixes. It will take time and practice. But, if you are committed to this, you can do it. If this speaks to you, and you are now ready to do something about it, call me. The number is (219) 309-3928. I’d be honored to be of service.

For some additional thoughts, click COMMUNICATION

Thanks for reading!