It is essential to think about the consequences that your words have on other people. Possessing this skill will mean more effective communication with people and less awkward misunderstandings. How do you learn to think before you speak?
Effectively expressing yourself is a significant skill in interpersonal communication. It can directly influence the relationships you have with people.
We often hear that we have to think before saying what’s on our mind, but this ability is not as easy to develop as it may seem. It can be hard sometimes to choose the right words, and there is not always enough time for it.
What happens when we speak without thinking?
We all may know that person who always hears “just think once before you speak!” from everyone, as they seem to voice everything that is on their mind. This often leads them to misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations.
If you want to be better than this, but have no idea where to start, you can read some good advice on how to think before you act and speak.
Why do I need to think before I talk?
If you ask “why should I think before I act?”, here are some of the main reasons why it is so important to consider your words.
It gives you more opportunities
The power of words is unlimited, and it can either give you opportunities or take them away from you. What you say can make a tremendous impact on your life and certain situations.
For instance, think about a job interview. If you present yourself in an appealing way, you are more likely to get the position; however, your chances decrease if you say something that may cause the company to doubt your professionalism.
It establishes your social standings
Have you ever noticed that people who are unable to keep their thoughts to themselves and voice everything that is on their mind are not perceived well in society? They may easily say something offensive, even by accident, and it will not go well with others.
If you want to form more close connections and friendships, it is important to learn effective communication. It may not be possible to completely avoid misunderstandings, yet you can reduce their number if you plan your speech carefully.
Speaking before you think leads to regrets
Human beings are imperfect – sometimes we can say something mean or harsh, and instantly regret it. However, if you learned to control your instinct to tell someone off or say a thing that will later cause you guilt, it is already admirable.
Quite often, people do not mean harsh things – they just have self-control issues and are unable to think more about their word choices.
Words can help people or hurt them
What would you rather do – make someone’s day brighter or ruin it? Words have massive power, and they can directly influence the person’s mood and attitude towards you.
Even if people say that words do not hurt them, they have a destructive power to do so. However, they can also be helpful and uplifting, so it would often mean the world to someone if you said something nice to them.
Words can strain relationships
Things can not be unsaid, and some stuff that you may have exchanged with a loved one may permanently damage your relationship. Even if they forgive you, there may be growing resentment towards you inside them, which will inevitably result in another fight.
You may notice that something you have said in the heat of the moment may not even reflect your real feelings, and it was not necessary to voice. If you had kept it to yourself from the beginning, things would not have turned out this way.
How to think before you speak
So, how do you prevent yourself from saying unnecessary, awkward, and hurtful things? Here is some advice.
THINK technique: what is it?
There is a great technique, which is directed at contemplating your next words. THINK is an acronym for “True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind”.
What does this mean? This means that you should consider each one of these factors before saying something.
This way of thinking can significantly help you in your future communication with people.
- True. Is the information you are about to pass to other people real, or does it have no substance behind it? Misinformation and lying hurt people and make you look like an untrustworthy person.
- Helpful. Is what you say helpful, and does it assist other people in making good decisions? If you are unable to provide beneficial advice, maybe it is best just to give the person emotional support.
- Inspiring. Do your words inspire people and influence them to do something incredible? If what you are about to say does not carry emotional value, perhaps it is best to keep silent.
- Necessary. Does it need to be said, or will people live without this information? Quite often, useless chats can be annoying to others. Words that can easily hurt people are also completely unneeded.
- Kind. You should treat others with kindness and respect if you want the same towards yourself. Therefore, consider whether your words are kind, or if they sound a little mean.
Learning to think before you speak may be a hard task; however, it is achievable, and you can set it as a goal for yourself.
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