Some people just do not know when to shut up. Whether because of an inflated sense of their own importance, an unshaken conviction they know all, or a complete inability to imagine how their words might make another feel, these mouthy souls regale the rest of us with their opinions stated as fact, whether we want them to or not.
Your feelings don’t matter. The impression their words leave with others isn’t important. It’s all about sharing wisdom (real or imagined) with whatever audience is at hand. Some see it as a “duty” others don’t realize or don’t care how things sound, how they hurt.
Imagine how great things would be if the mouthier people in the world had to ask themselves these simple questions before opening that big, fat trap…
Using these simple guidelines before speaking does call for some effort, perhaps more effort than these people can give. A working filter of your own thoughts and the ability to imagine yourself in the shoes of those exposed to your pearls of verbal wisdom are also necessary, but sadly lacking for mouthier people.
Apparently they never were taught, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” Maybe they just ignored that lesson. As a result, you’ll have to think about what’s said to you in this context.
Is what’s just been hurled at you…
True or an established/entrenched opinion?
Helpful or a chance for the speaker to show off?
Inspiring or another chance for the speaker to pat themselves (their cause) on the back?
Necessary for your development/safety, or just necessary for the speaker to get off his/her chest?
Kind or cold, hard fact?
I’ve used this technique myself, and while it won’t work 100% of the time, it can be helpful in managing your reaction to what you’ve just heard.
Unfortunately, those afflicted with “verbal diarrhea” are blissfully unaware of how hurtful their toss off comments can be, how often you hear their words again as you fall off to sleep at night or face a tough challenge. They don’t seem to realize that words have power, they reveal things. They can hurt just as a weapon might, though the wounds go unseen.
The spoken word can’t be taken back. It’s there, out in the open for all to hear, for all to know and remember. The mouthy sort may apologize (though never as publicly as they made their original declaration), blaming a lack of discretion or strong emotions for hurtful, thoughtless words; but they were still spoken and retain all the power to hurt, to humble, to humiliate that they had when first spoken.
If they could only hear how they sound… but then, would they stop long enough to listen? Probably not.