“if you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” – Buddha
How many un-necessary, untrue and unhelpful conversations do we hear every day? How many of them were initiated, participated in or indulged in by you?
Words are powerful things. They have the ability to paint a picture, they relay our thoughts and our feelings, they have the power to build people up and the power to destroy them.
After years of being a member of a critical incident support team within my Fire Brigade Our team have just spent another day undertaking skills training. We spent the day examining psychological arousal following traumatic incidents and how to deal with it as first responders following trauma or disaster.
Part of the training dealt with the disjointed and possibly incongruent language, or the inability of someone in a highly aroused state to be able to access and use language to be able to explain what is happening for them, a situation of “when words fail them”. There are complex physiological and psychological reasons for this occurring.
Thankfully most of us are rarely in such a hyper aroused state. This means that our reality is that we have the power to choose our words.
How many times have we been engaged in conversations and found ourselves thinking “did I just say that? Where did that come from?”
To make our words even more powerful in our daily lives we need to be aware of what we are about to say and should take heed of the Buddhas quote and consciously seek to ensure that when we are going to speak it is necessary, truthful and kind.
If our intended words, even when delivering criticism or bad news, meet this simple test then they are valuable words. If the intended words fail on any one of the three points we should hold our thoughts and our tonques and seek to replace them with thoughts and words that do meet these tests.
How will you make your words necessary truthful and kind….even in tough situations?