As always, I’m letting you know that this series is full of SPOILERS. If you haven’t already seen “How I Met Your Mother” then I urge you to go watch it before reading this, especially if you are worried about plot points being ruined. If that isn’t a worry of yours, then read on friend. 🙂
In this episode of “How I Met Your Mother” Lily finds an old answering machine from the summer that she was in San Francisco, and in classic Ted fashion he plugs it in and is immediately found out for saying something dumb, in this instance, calling Lily a bitch.
While I agree with Ted’s sentiment, she kind of was being a bitch, it also sends a powerful message.
The words that we use are important. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a relatively foul mouth. It’s not because I try to be vulgar, it’s more so that I don’t try not to be. Obviously I avoid foul language around my grandmother and pastor, and small children, as it’s not a respectful thing. Eventually I’m sure that same mentality will extend to my mother, right now it certainly doesn’t. (Sorry mom…)
Regardless, the words we say carry a weight. Its how “bad words” became what they are. The weight that we put behind out sentences is so heavy that we can’t possibly understand it. It takes no time at all to reduce someone’s outlook just by muttering a few words. I’m sure that there have been moments for all of us when we were just talking and not paying attention to what we said and we really hurt someone’s feelings or perhaps offended them. (Not in that oversaturated “I’m offended, you can’t do that anymore!” kind of way. I mean the real offended. Like using God’s name in vain right in front of a religious person.) It’s easy to slip up and not realize the damage that we can cause. I know a guy who is a bit heavier and once someone made a joke about wearing a 3XL shirt, which that guy wore, and it really hurt him. I also have said some pretty off color things in front of my pastor, which I immediately regretted.
Therein lies that trick to speech. I personally am great at talking. I can do it for hours on end without interruption, I have also become proficient in speaking without thinking about the words leaving my mouth. That is why I’ve become a writer, actually. Writing allows me to slow down and think about the next few lines before I blindly spew them onto paper. When you slow down, when you think about what you are saying, you can avoid getting yourself into trouble or even worse, hurting the feelings of someone around you.
It’s hard to always be on your game, especially when you like to talk.
Something that I should always remember for myself is that I should take a breath. Pause every so often and remember what I’m saying. This way, I can form a structured thought instead of rambling on and on about nothing and inevitably filling the dead space with insults or swear words, something that I hearken easily to.
Life is about practice, but keep in mind that practice doesn’t make things perfect.
I like this show so much because it even offers simple reminders about life, that even the small words you say can have a great impact. Today, try to limit yourself. Don’t let your speeches ruin someone’s Christmas.
If you liked this blog, please like + share it on social media!
If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr you can follow me @alvatobiasbooks
As always, I love you + I hope you’re doing well.