Monday, September 10, 2012

{five warning signs you give yourself that you shouldn't say what you're about to say}

people's brains are very smart: we know when we shouldn't say something. but our tongues are very stupid: we say it anyway. i used to think this was a thirteen-year-old-girl thing to do, but then i realized that it's actually a people-in-general thing to do. and then i further realized that i do it too.


there is, however, a semi-solution. it's not full-proof, and it's got its holes, but it's helpful. and that's usually a good place to start. the semi-solution is called, "JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF". because before you say something you shouldn't, you actually usually tell yourself and everyone around you that you know about it. it's like your brain is trying to reign your tongue in but your tongue is a dragon. {dragons pretty much do whatever they feel like.} however, if you learn some warning signs, it becomes so easy: as soon as you hear yourself starting a sentence with one of these five phrases, you just shut your mouth.

1) "no offence, but..."

this usually gets said right before something really offensive, which is funny, isn't it? i once had a girl say to me, "no offence, but you have really crooked teeth." and i was still offended.{!} so either that approach doesn't work, or i'm a tad oversensitive.

but how is it supposed to work? is the "no offence" supposed to cancel the actual offensive thing out? if anything, it only gets the other person's back up, ready to be offended. and, i mean, sometimes you actually have a good, loving reason for saying something that might possibly offend someone. {by all means, go to it.} but i find that the good old no offence usually prefaces flippant, unneeded criticisms.

2) "i wasn't supposed to say anything, but..."

this one's for when someone told you not to say something to someone {or anyone} but then you feel like, for whatever reason, your reason for wanting to say it trumps their reason for not wanting you to. you dig? "don't tell her i told you this, but she's thinking of moving to tibet."

it doesn't matter if it's huge dramatic gossip or boring little nothings, if you weren't supposed to say anything, you weren't supposed to say anything, so don't say anything. it's so easy.

it's like you're robbing a bank and as you're pulling out your gun, you're saying to the teller, "i know i'm not supposed to rob a bank, but..."

3) "don't tell her i told you this, but..."

i came across a good rule once about only saying things about people behind their backs that you would say to them to their faces. {and in the same tone using the same words.} so put your judgey voice away and shoosh.

besides. you probably have friends who commit crime number 2 regularly. words have passports, suitcases, and air miles.

4) "i know this probably isn't what you want to hear right now, but..."

i don't know about you, but i hear this a lot when i'm having a hard time and i'm hanging out with a friend or even someone i don't know very well and they don't know all the details but they still want to give me a touching and motivational chicken soup speech about what i need to do or think or say or how i need to react.

usually totally well meaning, i know, but did you know that when someone is sad, they don't want a motivational speech? they want you to say this: "i'm sorry. that sucks. i'm here for you." and maybe they want a chocolate bar. and maybe they want you to sing them a song. and maybe they want you to knit them a pair of cute slippers.

5) "on america's next top model this week..."

shhhhhh. you're not supposed to admit you watch that.


  1. i'll pay attention more to these signs. but don't worry, i never watch America's next top model so i won't say sign #5

  2. don't forget: "If I tell you something will you promise not to get mad?"

    I have this problem, but I call it "diarrhea of the mouth." Age and maturity has helped me to learn better when to keep my mouth shut, but I still get myself in trouble sometimes. I will remember to listen for the cues from now on!

  3. I *hate* "no offence, but..." It's the equivalent of, "It was just a joke!" as though a few words can totally invalidate or erase your natural reaction to whatever's said. Grr.

    The last one made me laugh, though. :)

  4. My #5 would be: "Did you see the last episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?" D'oh!

  5. Great advice Suzy. #5 definitely made me laugh out loud!!

  6. yes, yes, yes.

    except is there a rule for not embarrassing yourself in general? you know, when, like, you just can't stop those words from tumbling out of your mouth? like once, i was being introduced to this girl's younger sister and they looked NOTHING alike and i ALMOST, ALMOST said to her, "do you have the same parents?" but instead i just stood there awkwardly mid sentence and finally just said, "like, she's your sister, huh?" or something totally dumb. oh my gosh.

    foot. in. mouth.

    but, no. don't ever start off a sentence "no offense, but..." already offended, check.

  7. Great advice Suz! #5 definitely made me laugh out loud!

  8. Amen! I need to put this into practice for my own brain!
    And yes, a chocolate bar and a song. Perfect cure!
    Loved this!

  9. Can we move in together and be the best roommates ever?? Our husbands can live with us too, I guess.


    I really like you.

  10. I just pictured past events when people started a phrase in that way, and it never ended well.
    It's been a long time since I watched ANTM, must have to get back into it! (It was my guilty pleasure!)

  11. Amen to all of the above.

  12. I just about died one day when I found myself explaining "Smize" to someone one day...


Say anything you want. It doesn't even have to be relevant.