We all do it. We see that overweight person walking around in spandex bike shorts with a sports bra at the mall and wonder “seriously, I wouldn’t do that and I’m skinny”. Some of the more brazen folks will even utter that aloud. I am one of those people. It’s a flaw, my inability to keep my thoughts to myself. Most of the time, it ends up as amusement for the people I’m with. When it’s not, I was lucky enough to be able to duck and outrun the offended person.
As I’ve grown older, thankfully I’ve learned a bit more restraint. Not much, but a bit. I’ve learned that generally there’s a time and place for it, and I’ve also learned that biting your lip is less painful than a punch in the face. I fail to acknowledge how words really affect people, mostly because I generally don’t mean what I say as rude and not “constructive criticism”. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to let someone be ignorantly uninformed and not say… be fire from your job. I even learned that social media is not the place to air out my opinions on a person, because a lot of things just get lost in translation from text to words.
Still, I’m often put in a lot of situations where I have to recite “it’s not my place” or “leave it alone” in my head to distract my mouth from saying anything. I’m able to now look at my moral compasses to prevent anything that shouldn’t come out of my mouth. Between my husband’s look of disapproval as if he’s scolding a potty mouthed insolent child and my wish to not have my children follow in my footsteps, I learned that sometimes silence with a smile and a nod is the best thing you can do in life.
This whole post was inspired by a movie my family watched over the weekend named “Pontypool”. (Spoiler alert) The virus was spread through the English language. In that case, words do kill much like the case in a lot of bullying tragedies. Words have a habit of hurting if used improperly, and we should try to remember this when we’re put in situations. Not everyone wants your opinion, if they do they’ll ask. Luckily I’ve gotten to this point, unfortunately when asked to give an honest response I don’t know how to soften the blow and I rattle off every thought that comes into my head when asked. (Take note: Never ask me for my honest opinion unless you really really really want my honest opinion.) Baby steps?