I have never regretted anything I have not said.
Words to live by. As a talker, this mantra has proved invaluable to me… and would be even MORE beneficial if only I practiced it all the time… every single day of my life.
We are raised on the principle that honesty is the best policy. That damage can be minimized—if not altogether avoided—by simply telling the truth… all the time… to everyone… about everything. If we would just tell the truth, everything will be better.
The truth shall set you free. Right? Another popular one. We are taught to believe that shining the light of truth on things will invariably and inevitably fix them. However, I am learning that this “honesty policy,” so deeply ingrained in us, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Trust me. I know. I have told the truth… the whole truth… and nothing but the truth many times in my life operating under the false assumption that it will make everything better, only to discover—through devastation of epic proportion—that I should have kept my damn mouth shut.
Now, before you go on thinking that this is an endorsement for lying and dishonesty, let me clarify. I am referring to the things that we DO NOT NEED TO SAY, rather than saying false things. There is a big difference. As a compulsive talker and an obsessive clearer-of-the-air, I cannot begin to tell you how many times telling someone exactly what is on my mind has come back to bite me in the ass.
I have done it in all areas of my life, and in all areas of my life it has—on more than one occasion—backfired. Big time. Just because it pops into my head or is nagging at me or causing me to toss and turn at night, doesn’t mean that I must spew forth the thoughts (no matter how true) like word vomit all over the intended target or anyone who will listen.
Sometimes “holding your cards close to the vest” or “not revealing your hand” or practicing the “silence is golden” rule really is the better option, even if it means that you are occasionally guilty of the sin of lying by omission.
Think before you speak… because on now and then… honesty is not always the best policy.