Learning to think before you speak is an important skill to master. However, it is often easier said than done. This guide is meant to help you slow down and process your thoughts and feelings before committing to action or belief.
The Importance of Thinking Before You Speak
So, why is it important to think before you speak?
Most of us say the first thing that comes to mind during a conversation. We also spend time coming up with our responses while others are speaking rather than truly honing in the language and meaning to comprehend the message.
Doing this is a bad habit that many don't realize, but it can also be evident to those around us when we are not thinking about our following words.
The words we choose to speak can directly influence the outcome of a conversation or a significant decision, and once they are said, you cannot take them back. When you think before you tell, you can carefully process your surroundings and take time to determine the best thing to say in a specific situation.
Thinking before you talk or act will also ensure you effectively communicate your point. Developing this healthy habit can help you be more tactful and gain the ability to offset negative interactions positively.
How to Think Before You Act
There are many ways to practice thinking before you act, requiring a moment or two of reflection before proceeding. Take a deep breath and avoid saying the first thing that comes to mind. As you reflect, carefully choose your words to convey your message accurately, which allows you to avoid misunderstandings or confusion.
It can be not easy, but try not to say the first thing that pops into your head! These thoughts are generally unrefined and impulsive, so even if they convey what you're feeling, it may not be the best way to go about it.
While the thought of taking a deep breath may sound cliche, it can help increase the oxygen levels in your brain and allow you to think more clearly. As you do this, ask yourself the following questions, "Is what I'm saying kind?" "Is it true?" "Is it necessary?"
If the answer to these questions is yes, you can say how you feel. However, if you need to be more precisely sure what the right words would be to convey your feelings effectively, consider saying nothing.
Avoiding speaking immediately allows the other person to clarify further, giving you more time to think about the right thing to do.
It is also essential to always take note of your surroundings during these interactions. While some of these things may be appropriate to say out loud in a private setting, you will likely need to choose your words and actions more carefully in a public or professional location.
- Although this requires a lot of effort, the more you practice, the easier it will become. Eventually, you can do this without noticing that you are taking the time to think before you speak!
- Also, remember that no one is perfect. If you say the wrong thing, quickly apologize and own the fact that you said something you shouldn't have - and promise to do better next time. We are all Wildly human.