When I was growing up, I was raised with the guidance, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It taught me to hold my tongue and be polite as a kid. But now in adulthood sometimes “not saying anything at all” fails to influence others, make a point, or create change. Sometimes when we say nothing at all, we get walked on.
On the other hand, today our culture applauds those who “speak their mind”. Social media, business meetings, and committees are full of people who “speak their mind”. The problem is that sometimes this is done without any empathy for the one on the receiving end. Sometimes speaking our mind causes more harm than good.
How do we find the balance between saying nothing and getting walked on, and saying something and being a jerk? Where is the middle ground?
The middle ground is in the heart.
Instead of speaking your mind, speak your heart.
The heart is able to find the best way. It knows whether to say something or not. It knows what to say so that you don’t get walked on. It knows what to say so that you don’t walk on others.
The reason the heart is able to do this is the heart doesn’t want you to waste energy.
Think of all the emotional energy you waste when you get walked on. You are frustrated, worried, resentful, or hopeless. This all wastes energy and your heart doesn’t want that.
Think of all the emotional energy that is wasted in “speaking your mind”. You have to put on arrogance, haughtiness, aggression, hostility, defensiveness. Again, all this wastes energy and your heart doesn’t want that.
Think instead of pausing thoughtfully, speaking genuinely, caring for the other person, and sharing a compassionate message. Think of forgiveness, sharing, creating mutually-benefiting change. All this renews energy. It charges you up. And that’s what your heart wants.
Your heart wants to take you down the highest road. Not necessarily the easiest road. Sometimes the easy thing is to stay quiet and get walked on. Sometimes the easy thing is to spout off and be a jerk. Yes, sometimes those are easy. But easy doesn’t mean right. Easy doesn’t mean the best outcome. And easy doesn’t mean energy-efficient. We can waste a lot of emotional energy taking the easy road. Instead take the high road. The road of the heart.
Don’t say nothing. Don’t speak your mind.
Speak your heart.
Not sure how? Let us guide you through the Coherent Communication Technique in a one-on-one Stress Coaching session, in-person or virtually. Learn to speak from your heart and improve your relationships, at home and at work.
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
If you liked this, you may be interested in the 5 Myths and Facts About the Heart.
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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