We need to bring back what I call Archieisms.
For those who don’t know, Archie Bunker, the fallible, hopelessly bigoted hero of 1970s TV series All in the Family had a real way with words. The show was an unlikely winner and Archie, his wife Edith, their only daughter Gloria and son-in-law Mike (Meathead) came to be part of our families. Long before the internet, social media or cable TV, this was the show that people talked about, that made news, won awards.
Archie was quick to tell Edith to “stifle” or warm Mike to “dummy up” without any regard for their feelings. I suggest we bring this idea back — and aim these commands directly at every member of the Kardashian family, all the Real Housewives of any locale, all the Bachelors and Bachelorettes, annoying singer John Meyer, crybaby Canadian Justin Bieber and the hopelessly out of touch Gwyneth Paltrow.
Maybe I’m too sensitive, or maybe there are just too many people yapping… engaging that mouth without a thought. Places like Facebook encourage this and are loaded with cases of verbal diarrhea. Parents who brag about their kids. Parents who complain about bragging parents. Haters of all persuasion and parties. Fitness buffs. Show offs, general whiners and the wanna-be comedians who we aren’t smart enough to “get”.
It always surprises me that famous or not, none of these people seem aware of how their words come off. How they are heard by the unfortunate listener caught in their crosshairs. Lots of times that’s me, but I know I’m not alone.
Far from it.
While it’s true that the sound of your own voice can be compelling, it also appears to block out awareness of others. Do you blabber mouths never, ever stop to listen to how you sound? Words spew forth without pause, words that can be profoundly hurtful or inappropriate; but that we’re all supposed to let pass because the speaker “Didn’t really mean anything by them.”.
Saying something aloud means business. Just a step short on the permanence scale from writing (or posting online) a thought, opinion or feeling. Unspoken these words are private, so they can be mean or hurtful, nasty or politically incorrect. No one hears them. But speak (or write) them and they take on a terrible power; they aren’t easy to deny, explain away or take back.
They become the voice in all our heads that taunts, keeps us awake, batters our self-esteem.
You loudmouths want, on some level, for us all to hear and know what you said, how you truly feel. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have said what you did. Fine, we hear you, message received, self-esteem impacted. Blow to ego delivered.
Is it too much to ask the blabber mouths of this world to have a care what you say? And maybe to take a breath, let some of us get a word in once in a while? It is possible you know that YOU do not have all the answers any more than the rest of us. Maybe your opinion has no more right to be heard than mine — I’m just quieter (and apparently more selective) when it comes to sharing what I think.
I’m asking (begging) you incessant talkers to pause a moment BEFORE letting that mouth run free. Consider your audience (us listeners) and have respect for the feelings and life circumstances of those who hear your verbal ramblings. I’m not denying your right to talk, just asking you keep a listener in mind as you do.
Listeners everywhere will be grateful.