If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all. How many times have you heard this phrase or some variant? How many adults have said this to children? How many of those adults do you think heed this advice in their own lives? If you are the average human being, you are probably guilty of saying not-so-nice things many times over. How often we are guilty of this transgression varies considerably among us, with even the nicest people having engaged in gossip, judgment or a snide comment here and there. We all have our weak spot. Some of us are more prone to gossiping while others are more prone to passing judgment and rendering opinions on the lifestyle and choices of others. Some just engage in pure meanness, simply making fun of others.
Regardless of the nature of our unkind talk, it is a bad idea all around and our tendency to do this shines a light on our own junk , such as our insecurities, jealousies and areas of our own life where we are unhappy. This is something I think most of us know on some level but really do not give too much thought to. The next time you find yourself wanting to engage in any type of negative speak, give yourself a minute to think why you are compelled to say what you are going to say. Where is the desire stemming from? This could be uncomfortable because most likely the answer is going to reveal your own issues. Do you think you can resist the urge and just not say it? If you allow yourself that time to analyze why you want to pass judgment, gossip or make fun of someone, you can really discover a lot about yourself, which will benefit you in numerous ways.
If you can work on keeping your mouth shut instead of gossiping, judging and making fun, you will create a better energy in your life. In the moment, this behavior might make you feel better on the surface – you might have a good laugh at someone’s expense, someone else’s problems might make you feel better about your own life or someone’s mistake might make you feel superior. This is very surface however, and if you tune in to how you are feeling at these moments, you will see it is not good.
Talking in this manner is so second nature and unfortunately, it comprises a large majority of the conversations many of us engage in. Working on changing this behavior will certainly be a challenge and you may never reach a point where you NEVER say anything negative about other people, though it is certainly possible. Nothing good comes out of it and it is a waste of time and energy; it is a worthwhile exercise to become more aware of this behavior and try to reduce it as best you can. Of all the different personal development exercises I engage in, this has been one of the most powerful and beneficial. It is hard to explain exactly how, but the less time you spend talking smack about others, the better you will feel.
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