When To Hold Your Tongue

“The moment you feel like you need to prove yourself, is the moment you need to be silent and walk away.” ~ Rachel Wolchin …

Often times, it is very difficult for us to hold our tongues–whether it be from pride, arrogance, vanity, envy, jealousy, anger, revenge, or anything of the sort. But as Rachel mentions here, the moment we feel that we need to prove ourselves, the moment we begin to lose our cool or develop any negative feelings or thoughts of one-upsmanship, is actually the moment we need to hold back our tongue. I would actually take this a step further and additionally challenge myself to not leave someone in the middle of a conversation, as that is unkind and rude; instead, I would try my best to finish the converstaion by kindly listening to what they have to say, acknowledging that I heard it, and politely moving on.

At times, we are all faced with arguments and discussions that begin to escalate. And when they do, we are often tempted to say things that are not exactly noble–perhaps we want to make someone look bad or feel bad, or wish to show someone up and expose his or her ignorance and hypocrisy, or maybe we want to impress others with our knowledge, skills, and insight. But if we are honest with ourselves, none of these reasons have any noble or positive motives behind them, and none of them are better than the alternative of simply remaining silent and walking away. It is better simply to leave things unsaid in such situations, for although saying negative things may offer us temporary pleasure, it will eventually give way to feelings of regret and remorse.

Healthy relationships are built upon mutual respect and understanding of one another. And when we say things out of anger or spite to others, we only serve to remove the mutual respect and understanding between us. Remember that it is sometimes better to be kind than to be right… and that a patient heart that listens is always in great need.

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

Practice listening more in your conversations and discussions with others.

Questions to consider:

When can not saying anything prove to be most helpful?

Why is it so tempting for us to say something to others to prove ourselves?

Why is it more difficult to refrain from saying the wrong thing than it is to say the right thing?

For further thought:

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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