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There is a happy medium between expressing yourself and knowing when to keep your mouth shut

Last updated on February 17, 2015

We have all heard the proverbial saying ìsilence is golden.î

Many people struggle, including myself, with watching what they say.

In the heat of an argument or excited crossfire of witty retorts, it is sometimes hard to always filter what one says before it is spewed.

ìIt is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt,î said Mark Twain, American writer.

Very often, one experiences the stomach churning sensation of putting oneís foot in oneís own mouth.

When one is a child with a head full of fantastical and quizzical things, it is charming for oneís peers to hear an unchecked and shameless question or remark.

It is quite different when a young adult speaks unreservedly and carelessly on whatever is on their mind.

One must have a regard for the time or the place and have at least a general sense of tact.

Always saying whatever pops into your head without thinking about it first does not allow the young adult to look particularly mature or impressive.

I used to not be this way.

All through my childhood and teen years, I recall being very reserved and most painfully quiet and shy.

It was not even until last semester I realized that I had really ëlet myself goí in a sense.

ìThere is never an embarrassing silence that canít be turned into a regrettable conversation,î said Robert Brault, an American tenor.

I have a friend who was a new acquaintance last semester.

We did not know each other particularly well, but enough for this person to realize that I was usually a laid back person with a sort of ëonly speak when spoken toí mentality.

Without relaying the exact conversation and having an account of my thoughtless remark spread and known on paper and online, I will mention the incident as vaguely as possible.

ìMan does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them,î said Adlai Stevenson II, an American politician.

In the midst of a casual conversation, I responded to one of my companionís remarks with a completely rude and unfiltered reply.

I was not expecting what I said to come out of my mouth any more than my fellow conversationalist.

We were both taken aback and our acquaintanceship, and later friendship, was forever altered by my thoughtless statement.

Thank goodness this person had a sense of humor and did not take any offense but was merely surprised by my sudden and brash comment.

Now my friend expects me to say something equally tactless and uncivil every time we converse.

ìThe trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you havenít thought of yet,î said Ann Landers.

My friends and family marvel at how Iíve ëëcome out of my shell.íí

But there is a difference in being comfortable with your own voice and allowing your thoughts to discharge unchecked.

Living such a life is very dangerous.

It is important to remember where you are and who you are with.

Being an editor on the paper is much easier than being an editor of my oral articulations.

Even as this editorial is being written, I will pause after a sentence or two and reread the last paragraph in order to check that the grammar and flow are adequate.

When someone is having a conversation, they must be a bit more quick on their feet considering there is not as much time to always plan out and discard unnecessary rebuttals or exchanges.

ìSpeak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret,î said Ambrose Bierce.

I know it is sometimes very difficult to not say the first thing that pops into your head, but having the ability to filter your speech is a noble and sensible practice.

Please start watching what you say.

Too often we stick our feet in our mouths when could have just as easily stayed silent.

You may have a voice, but please think about what you use it for.

Words do not bruise like sticks and stones but they can sometimes sting much longer.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the temptin moment,” said Dorothy Nevill.

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