There are those who subscribe to school of thought that says, ‘Just speak your mind’.
I once subscribed to this school of thought until a man I was dating said to me ‘It depends on what is on your mind’. At first, I was angry at his response for I thought that not to speak my mind was to be dishonest. After saying this to him, he replied with the words, ‘Sometimes we can be honestly wrong’. Then he went on to ask me this question: Would you want everyone to know everything you have ever thought? Afterwards he said, ‘I don’t know about you but I don’t always need to think; there are those times thoughts just pop into my head’.
As I thought about it, I realized he was right. To think requires that we have some data, ponder it, examine it, and then come up with a conclusion. Random thoughts do not require such intricacies. I realized that just because I have random thoughts does not mean I am thinking. I thought of the many times I had shared my random thoughts without thinking and realized that giving myself the opportunity to think would have changed what I shared, for what I shared neither reflected my heart nor the truth.
Since that conversation, I made it a point to say only what I have carefully thought about, and to keep away from saying the random thoughts that pop into my head.
There is a difference between what you think and the thoughts that pop into your head.
There are times when we are more susceptible to think and speak random thoughts that pops into our heads. These five times are as follows:
When We Are Frustrated — Whenever we are frustrated, our mind focuses on the temporary situation that causes the frustration. The problem with spoken words is that once spoken, they cannot be taken back. In that sense, words spoken are permanent. Moreover, it is more likely that we focus on the negative when we are frustrated. Therefore, it is best not to speak negative permanent words based on temporary situations. It is better to simply wave goodbye to the thoughts that come in when frustrated and give ourselves a chance to calm down and really think.
When We Are Angry — There is anger that is productive and there is anger that is destructive. While righteous anger that is directed towards ourselves can be a catalyst for change in our lives, anger that is directed outwardly towards other people are seldom helpful. Hence it is best to keep quiet and make it a point to listen (or just walk away) when we feel the first wave of anger kick in towards our partner.
When We Are Upset — It is best not to set ourselves up by speaking up when we are upset. It is highly likely we dig up negative emotions and shed blood with our words.
When We Are Lonely — There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. It is possible to be alone without feeling lonely and it is possible to be lonely without being alone. Loneliness is what happens when we are unable to relate in one way or the other to the people around us. When lonely, we tend to think about ourselves and compromise in our hearts. Should we speak, the thoughts that speak can be those that get us to make compromises and promises that we would rather not live with later. Do you know a person who said yes to dating someone you knew they would regret dating? This may be a result of loneliness.
When We Are Tired — Tiredness and good decisions seldom go hand in hand. It is best to avoid important conversations when tired. In those times, the chances that we won’t care about what we say are much higher.