Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Expressing Ones Self

I was reading through some recent facebook friends posts, twitter posts and blogs I subscribe to and it made me think about what I write and how I communicate. I paused and asked myself “are you a thoughtful communicator?”

Arianna Huffington said, "Self-expression is the new entertainment. This is why millions of people blog.”

Having a 13-year-old son who is all about self-expression I have started reminding him of something I heard a long time ago. Before you broadcast the first thing that comes into your head ask yourself these 3 questions.
Is it true?
                            Is it necessary?
                                                      Is it kind?

Too often the statement that is screaming to get out of our heads may be true and necessary but it is certainly not kind. What do you do then? If you are wise, you let it take another spin on the “filter train” to remove the harshness of your words like an oil filter removes the grime from the oil that keeps our cars running smoothly. Sometime back a person received an accounts payable statement from our company. Not having a clear understanding they sent back a seething email full of misunderstanding, accusations and venom. After a thorough explanation to what the statement was for, the person sent back a very kind apology. The fact that they didn’t have enough information and understanding was easily remedied with a simple explanation. The fact that they spewed ugliness cannot be easily forgotten. This person, who is generally a kind and a very bright individual, is thought of differently now. They could have held off sending the email, read it one more time, gave it a bit more thought and asked for an explanation rather than telling us off.

It has been said that some just like to hear themselves talk. It doesn’t matter what they are saying as long as they are the person with the floor. Watch any political debate and we see this played out.  But I know people whom that could be said of and it spurs me to be acutely aware of what I say.  For some more than others it is a necessity to speak out, speak loud and speak often. We all have the need to be heard, understood and acknowledged. I have said this before and will say it again because it is true and often ignored.  But sometimes when those needs are not being met we tend to sensationalize our statements to gain the attention of another who we want desperately to hear, understand and acknowledge us.

Reading twitter posts, facebook friend’s entries and blogs has kept me more informed of things I never dreamt possible. I probably spend more time than I should. People fascinate me and learning inspires me. But occasionally I read something that doesn’t sit well with me and I choose to take myself out of the author’s sphere of influence. With family, friends and associates who we interact with every day we can’t always choose to disassociate with them. It then takes a special grace to then say only what is true, necessary and kind.


  1. True, necessary, and kind. Wonderful words to live by. Fun might be added, as the next step?

  2. I totally agree with you! My mother always said "if you haven't got anything nice to say then don't say anything at all" and I am now saying this to my kids.

    Enjoy the rest of the week and best wishes,

  3. LPC Thanks for your comment. How much more enjoyable is life when it is doused with a goodly portion of fun!

    Natasha, my mom told my sister and I the same thing. I remember when I started hearing my mom's words come out of my mouth. They were just as true then as they are now. Thanks