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ninahenry's avatar

How do you ensure that you think before you speak?

Asked by ninahenry (1958points) September 23rd, 2010

It doesn’t happen to me often, but sometimes I blurt out things that I later regret. It usually happens when I’m tired or when talking to someone who I’m not quite good friends with yet, but I’m on my way and ground hasn’t yet been set.

How do you ensure that you think before you speak at all times? It seems easier said than done sometimes.

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18 Answers

heresjohnny's avatar

I don’t think it’s something you can always do. For me, I’m not a big talker, so when I do talk, it’s usually after some thought. Of course, I still talk without thinking sometimes. I think it’s unavoidable.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It’s definitely easier said than done sometimes. For me, I find it’s harder to control when I get really emotional (whether is happy, sad, or mad). I’ve learned when that point is coming, so when I feel myself getting really emotional, I try to take a step back for a few minutes to calm myself down.

Cruiser's avatar

You learn by your mistakes or at least that is how I learned. I now cringe when I meet people who just blurt out everything on their mind and knowing they know not the error of their ways.

muppetish's avatar

… I just do? I don’t know how to explain it, really. I’m constantly thinking. Sometimes, it makes me slow to speak at all. When I’m holding a conversation with someone who speaks rapidly without pause, it becomes difficult for me to keep up. It can be frustrated to other people who want banter. If I need to draw out a longer speech, I tend to stumble over my words and need to pause to find myself.

Jude's avatar

I am terrible with this. My internal voice, at times, pops out and makes an appearance. That’s not always good.

If it’s going to hurt someone in any way, I force myself to hold back (hold it in).

ninahenry's avatar

@Cruiser, haha, that’s not me gladly. I control this very well when talking about important, debateable issues, because I really think about it before voicing my opinion, and try to stay unbiased. It’s just as I’ve recently started a new job and met a LOT of new people. The worst thing is when I’m trying to make a joke or be nice and it comes off rude and offensive because it’s just the complete opposite of what I’m aiming for. It’d probably help to improve my sense of humour to be non-offensive (though it rarely is).

tranquilsea's avatar

After some really bad experiences with foot in mouth disease I learned to count to five before I said anything. I used that 5 second to think about what I was about to say.

That wasn’t a perfect system at first. Practise made perfect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You work on being the kind of person whose utterances, even if uninteded, would be right on the money and would be things that should be said anyway.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My father always said if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything. As long as I keep that in mind it’s hard to say something I’ll regret. I do have problems remembering that if I get really tired or really relaxed.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

After having the neighbor across the street from me for a while you learn to be very careful in what you say even if your tired.

ninahenry's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That’s not what I’m getting at. I don’t have something bad to say at all.
Here’s my example, a girl at work offered me a massage bar and I said let’s share it and she cut it and gave me the bigger piece and I said no it’s okay I don’t mind having the smaller bit, and after running around chasing each other I said “I’m smaller!”

I’m not that much smaller than her, I’m just younger and feel littler.

rainbowspirit's avatar

To Save face, keep lower half shut! lol

BoBo1946's avatar

After i “opened my mouth and inserted my foot” a few times, i learned to think before speaking.

ninahenry's avatar

@rainbowspirit what? you think I shouldn’t say anything to anyone that requires thought?

Stephystars263's avatar

Well normally i think about conversation topics and what I should and shoudnt say before I approach the person. If they come up to you, try to take your time to think by pretending to cough or check your phone or something.

I hope this helps :)

YARNLADY's avatar

I hardly ever do, but one way is to say “thinking” before you answer the way my computer does.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’ve tried to cultivate the habit of asking a question instead of thinking aloud. That seems to help. Often the answers change what I was initially thinking, and has saved me from being embarrassed. I try to say, something along the lines of, “So, tell me how you came to the decision to…”

ratboy's avatar

It seems that I don’t; I am frequently asked about my Tourette’s.

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