Just Don’t Say it Mean

“Dad, can I use your convertible this weekend, I’m going to the beach”.

“The beach? I thought you were working this weekend.  No, you can’t drive my car to the beach. The last time you drove my car, it was filled with sand, you left me with no gas and you parked it on the wrong side of the street.  I got a ticket.  You’re irresponsible and you have no money.”

Ouch,  That didn’t go well.

After an intense discussion, we often rehash what we said and wish we had said something else, we wish we had said it differently.  Perhaps some brilliant remark occurs to us long after the conversation has ended. Maybe hurtful and impulsive words slipped from our mouths that we really didn’t mean and we wish we could “unsay” them. We can say only what comes to us at the time of the discussion. We can only call on the skills and tools for healthy communication that we carry with us into every encounter.

It may be that the brilliant thoughts that come to us later would have actually been inappropriate. After all, important discussions also involve exchanges of strong feelings between people. These emotional exchanges influence the flow of the conversation. Sometimes our  “slips” reveal the true nature of our feelings.

If our words are in line with our feelings, and are feelings are in line with our principles, and are principles are in line with our actions, the discussion should go as it was MEANT to go. In such cases, we will probably say what we are meant to say at the time we are saying it.

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don’t say it mean.

Do your best today, without trying to second-guess every word or action. Be at peace with your best effort.