Asking for a friend…
In all of life’s ups and downs, how much is too much? Can you give too many opinions? Can you tell too many “truths”? It is not all black and white. Or is it?
Remember when you dated “Mr. Right” in high school? You know, when you could not have a normal conversation with anyone where you didn’t exhaust the fact of how great this guy was? Yah, him! Do you remember when this same guy broke up with you and he became mud? Ok, worse than mud! He became the scum underneath the mud. You talked trash about him non-stop until the day you found out he wanted to get back together. And you did… willingly… and with open arms. What happened to all the trash talk? How do you take those words back and not lose face? Trust becomes an issue from that point forward. Not to mention respect. It could be lost from all the friends who wanted to be on your side when they felt bad for you and defended you in the break-up only to see you give in and negate everything you had said in anger.
This is the question that is really at hand. How do we say something one time and contradict it on another? Words are powerful and can do a lot of harm. When feelings are already bruised, do we keep talking? I suggest not.
Eating crow is not a very tasty meal. I have some friends in a rough spot because of words. You’ve heard of the telephone game? It’s another way to do damage to others. Then throw in an opinion and, bam! a whole new situation has been created. People who claimed to be there for “you” and you thought they were on your side, and all of a sudden, they aren’t. The words seem harsh. Allegations of who said what. Words taken out of context. Now, the great divide.
There is a great phrase that says, “Make your words soft and sweet. You may have to eat them someday.” Greatest advice ever! It applies to those who have “Mr. Right” for the time being, and then don’t, as well as those playing the telephone game. How does one go from golden to mud and back to golden? And what about those not willing to admit wrong words were spoken? What about those who misread the situation? What about those who feel their pride could not handle eating crow?
Rise up and admit it. It is cleansing. You can’t take back words once they are spoken, but you can try and change the damage of the fallout afterwards. No one understands the domino affect words have and who is in the domino chain. Start with “I’m sorry.” This is where too much can be done. Simply say those two words and offer nothing else at the time. Breathe. Take a step back. Don’t talk. Don’t analyze. Just be quiet. Let the dust settle. The truth comes out eventually, but if we talk too much trash over hurt feelings, the following will happen: you say things you can’t take back, someone becomes mud, then someone wants to play nice. This won’t be realistic and respect will go out the window.
I am not an expert but as adults, we need to know the limits our tongues can go and how much is too much. We don’t have to like each other to play nice and keep our words soft and sweet. Just don’t make them up or form them into a twisted knot. Life is hard enough… say what you mean, mean what you say, and if you weren’t there, don’t assume anything. We do too much of that and if you want things to go smoothly, it starts there, knowing when your words have meaning, when they have been exhausted, and knowing when gold is gold and mud is mud.