Dear Journal: Shutting Up

carefulwithwordsDear Journal,

Why haven’t I learned yet just to keep my mouth shut? Maybe that’s the real reason I’ve lost so many friends over the years. They just got tired of listening to me, probably. I mean, I’ve never entertained ideas that I was a quiet person who didn’t speak unless spoken to. That’s not really ever been me. But why do I feel the need to stretch the envelope, saying things that most decidedly don’t need to be said, or saying things at the absolute wrong time? I tell this to other people all the time: “Always take a minute to consider what you’re going to say before you say it.” But do I follow my own advice? It appears not.

I guess I just need to try and keep my mouth shut more. I can do it at work no problem, so all the time I’ll just pretend I’m at work. Because not only are others judging me all the time, but they’re making up their minds on whether or not they want to be friendly with me, based on every single thing I say. And while I don’t base my self-worth on others’ perceptions of me, I would be stupid not to take that into account before joking about things I shouldn’t joke about, or saying something about someone, even in jest, when I hardly know that person. Or any number of other things I’ve said that I’ve come to regret after the fact.

Maybe instead of imagining I’m at work all the time, I should just ask myself would what I’m going to say reflect well on my children? Would it be something I feel okay saying in front of them, or should I reconsider it? It’s obvious that just preaching patience and talking to others about thinking before speaking is having no effect on me. I want to be someone people enjoy talking to, not because I’m being fake, but because I’m being smart about what to say and what not to say. There’s a world of difference between the two, and being bold and brash never wins or maintains friendships.

So, I want to apologize to anyone I’ve ever offended with my thoughtless comments. I make absolutely no excuses for them, but they’re done. I’m turning over an old leaf, one that I’ve looked at many times and considered but never turned over before. Now is the time. If not now, when? I hate that about me, so I need to cut it out. I want to always be a good role model for my children, even when they aren’t watching or listening, because I’ll know, and I’m just not able to live with it anymore.

Sam

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