Sometimes I say the wrong thing.
Admittedly, I’ve gotten good at deleting what I’ve typed in on social media platforms like Facebook.Sometimes I even delete them before I publish them.
And, I’ve learned how to edit those status updates as well. Pretty good for an old guy, eh?
But in person it’s not so easy.
Context is key
I often end up having to repaint the walls of context after making a particularly inflammatory comment. I end up informing my audience about my state of mind at the time, current experiences I may have had that they didn’t, and most importantly, the thing I thought I was saying and the admission that the possible meaning of my words that was obvious to every other person on the surface of the planet but wasn’t to me but.
Editing spoken words can only be done by adding to the context in which they were spoken. And I’ve become a master at that. I’m not always successful, but I am good at it.
Practice makes perfect
The longer I live, the better I get at fixing situations I’ve created.
Also, the longer I live the more the people around me have either become understanding and willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, or have moved on out of my life and don’t hear the stupid things I say.
And yes …
Stupid things I say have become fewer … I think. At least it feels like I’m slowly learning to hold my tongue.
Or, yes, as I said before, those around me have become more accepting of my verbalizations, and possibly more able to discern what it was I was meaning to say.
But there remains that question
Why do we do it? Why do we say the things we say that we end up regretting?
I mean, yes, we are impulsive. Many of us are attention seeking in an attempt to expand our social circle beyond just ourselves, because many of us are social animals. And we do want to appear like we are that smooth, silver tongued orator off of whose lips drip pearls of wisdom and sparkling diamonds of witticisms.
But is there more?
I’ve given this some thought. And I’ve come up with this, “Brain Freeze Avoidance.” If I am in a conversation, or a brainstorming situation, and something pops into my head as the answer to a question, an observation, or an addition to a list of options, and I don’t say it, I can’t get past that.
In conversation it’s not so bad, if I don’t speak others will and I will immediately think new thoughts. But I don’t always wait for others to speak because … impulsive.
But in a situation where ideas are needed, if I come up with one that I clearly should not vocalize, I feel like I haven’t completed the process if I don’t say the thing I’ve thought of. My mind will just circle back to that thing until it is used in some way, preferably by my mouth it would seem.
And it hurts!
Like the emotional and very much unbearable pain of being forced to do something that is boring, forcing my mind to move on from something I’ve thought of during a conversation can actually be painful.
But I’ve gotten fairly good at just coasting until some outside influence triggers other thoughts, new comments.
It doesn’t always work though. Hello, still impulsive.
And in closing, I have to say, …. no, I’ll keep that to myself. It was pretty funny, but wholly inappropriate.