Think Before You Speak

Posted by Heather
In life
1Jun 09

     I was very fortunate to be brought up by parents that genuinely care about other people, and their feelings.  We were taught that there are some things you should never ask people, such as: how much money they make, when they are going to have children, why they look a certain way … and similar things.  Even as a child, I was acutely aware of how people reacted to certain questions, and decided that I would never want to be someone that would say something that would either ” put someone on the spot ” , make them feel uncomfortable, or just plain ask something that is none of my business.

     Sadly, not everyone was taught to respect others’ privacy, or to use tact and courtesy when speaking with others.  It is one thing to ask someone you know well something personal, but it is an entirely different matter when you ask people you barely know those same personal questions, in front of other people, seemingly without giving any thought to how they may feel. 

     I didn’t even develop much of a sense of humour until just a few years ago, because I was always afraid that someone might take me seriously if I joked around with them.  The thought of offending someone, or possibly hurting their feelings, is one of the most horrible things I could imagine doing.  My Mother always told us ” If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. ”  I’ve always tried my best to stick as close to that as possible, but being only human, I’m sure I’ve slipped up from time to time.  One thing I can say for sure is that I would never intentionally say something ( or ask a question ) that might upset someone, and I would never discuss someone’s personal business within earshot of other people.  I respect peoples’ privacy, whether I know them, or not.

     Most people use some tact when dealing with others, and most people have a reasonable grasp of what is/isn’t appropriate to say/ask, especially to people they don’t know very well.  “Political Correctness” may have gone a little too far in some areas ( people are afraid to joke about anything anymore ) but I do think that if more people seriously thought about what they were about to say or ask, before they did it, that would be a good thing.  Even if you don’t intend on being rude, you may be perceived that way, and you may upset someone … and why would anyone want to do that ?


  1. nadia, June 1, 2009:

    All that you said is the truth of life.We all have an education.And I think that all parents make a lot of effort to educate their children.Children are so alive that they are so expressive and spontaneous!I remember when I was a little girl I was often silent, and when I grew up, I found many critical people that I can’t support.People like dealing just for profits,that’s all!But that’s life!We have to learn to support that kind of people or avoid them!

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