Bite Your Tongue…Seriously

Filter Ourselves

On occasion, my parents would me to “bite my tongue” when I had said something they thought should not have been said. Or if they worried that what I said could possibly happen. It merely meant to “think before you speak”.  As retro as that may sound, it’s sound advice. We need to start “biting” our tongues or holding in our thoughts more often. Or as Archie Bunker used to say,”Stifle it”.

bite your tongue advice susan roane

There are just some things that are better left unsaid.

If a colleague buys a new car, there’s no point in expressing a negative opinion of the make, style or color. It’s a done deal.  That lesson applies to many instances where we choose to voice our opinion/feedback/shared thoughts that ex post facto.

I’ve written it and said it and it bears repeating:  “Don’t tell me you’re frank, unless that’s your first name.”  We need to self-edit our comments and conversation. Just because we think something or a comment pops into our brain does not mean it should be spoken.

A colleague made a comment about something that was a done deal that I could not change.   The negative and unnecessary feedback shocked me. I couldn’t help but think less of him for not being able to filter his thoughts.  It’s a sign of maturity, of good communication skills and thoughtfulness.

What’s The Point?

That’s the question we all should ask ourselves before we “tell our truths”:    If your colleague already bought the car, your sister bought and wore the dress, your friend has a new hair cut, unless you can say something nice, bite your tongue.  Don’t bother to give your opinion of what could have been done better, cheaper, more efficiently. If it’s a done deal,  just smile and say nothing. So will I!

It’s the smart, kind, savvy and thoughtful thing to do…and NOT say.


About Susan RoAne

Susan RoAne leads a double life as a sought-after professional keynote speaker and a bestselling author. Known as The Mingling Maven®, she gives diverse audiences the required tools, techniques and strategies they need to connect and communicate in today’s global business world. The San Francisco Chronicle says she has a “dynamite sense of humor.” To hire Susan to speak for your company, association or college, 1.415.461.3915