My dad always told me to have value in the things I say. He said I should think about my vocabulary before vocalizing my thoughts, and to understand that once I spoke, I would lose ownership of those words. They would fall prey to the interpretation of the listener.
However I suffer form a serious case of word vomit. I often speak first and think later. If I am being completely honest, sometimes I find myself annoying and feel like saying, “just shut up”, but instead I just keep rambling like the court jester. While I speak from the heart, and constantly try to help those around me, I sometimes I think I need to sit back and let people make their own decisions free from my opinions.
The problem with that is, I often find myself giving an opinion before I can catch myself. While my opinion may be honest, I am too straight forward, and it causes people to feel defensive when they don’t need to be.
I recently told someone that I thought they have a drinking problem. For the sake of this blog I will refer to this person as Emma. I wasn’t very tactful in my approach. Being the straight forward person that I am, I spoke bluntly from a place of concern, causing this person to get defensive. While I think I was wrong in how I approached the subject, I have serious concerns about this persons health, and now realize that she has people in her life that enable this behaviour. She doesn’t have many people in her corner, trying to encourage her to sort out her issue. Instead, she’s surrounded by people who encourage and promote the drinking. What Emma doesn’t realize is that if she has serious health issues in the future, due to the alcohol abuse, these people who are enabling her won’t be there to pick up the pieces. Those close to her will be.
Its very frustrating for me to sit and just watch her indulge in behaviours that aren’t helping her build a healthy life for herself. Instead, she is holding on to a lifestyle that she should have outgrown. But thats just my judgemental opinion. Perhaps I am being judgemental, or maybe I just see a better future for her than she envisions. Either way, I regret my approach to the topic, because it is a serious topic.
I wish I had better control over my words. However, they often come out before I can stop them, and while I come from a good place. I realize that my opinions aren’t always needed. In the case with Emma, maybe she needed to hear my opinion, or maybe it just pushed her further, i’m not really sure. Either way, I think I could have approached the subject matter in a more compassionate way. After all, if someone is drinking to suppress emotions, bluntly telling them they have a drinking problem isn’t going to help them.