Friday, November 06, 2009

Keep Your Mouth Shut

I’m not sure what the title of the post will turn out to be; but, it’s about saying things to people. The older I get, and I adopted this policy a long time ago, the less you say of any significance, the better off you are.

That’s true for business, and sadly for personal interaction. The second you let words out of your mouth, they aren’t yours anymore. Or perhaps more accurately, they are yours but they aren’t within your control. (Some of you are thinking, what the hell is he talking about, he says crazy things here! Yes I do; but, you’ll notice that what I say here is very, very seldom personal. When it is, I’m careful that it is not directed at people I know or care about. And I’m breaking that rule with this post.)

Yesterday I said something that I thought was funny, a bit sardonic, definitely sarcastic; and, it was. Today I learned that my bon mot had been repeated beyond the audience that I had chosen, leading to messy results. Damn teenage stuff.

Had I followed my rule, I’d have missed the opportunity to amuse my audience but would have denied my audience the ability to expand the chosen audience for my wit.

No one that matters is hurt by what I said, it just brought up an old and unresolvable divide with a former friend to the former friend and the mutual friends torn by the divide between former friends. The funny wasn’t worth the dredging. In my defense, I didn’t think what I said would travel; but, I didn’t think and should have known better.

I just figured out the title.


Sonja's Mom said...

Perhaps it's an age thing. My mother-in-law was a wonderful, wise, witty woman but the older she got the less control she seemed to have over what she said. Whatever popped into her head came out her mouth. Some of it seemed hurtful at the time (although it was usually the truth) but now, these are some of the best stories we tell about her and have a good laugh over the bizarre things she said.

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Dave said...

SM, I'm not that old.

Robot Anon, well, just what should I say?

Dr Jenn said...

Yea well, if we all kept our mouths shut all of the time, then there would be no opinions... no spice... and no conflict... How boring would that be?

Dave said...

Boring can be better if talking bothers someone who didn't need to be bothered for the sake of something unimportant. And that's what I did.

Sonja's Mom said...

Sorry Dave - did not mean to imply that you were old.

Dave said...

It's OK SM, in the eyes of some I'm sure I'm old, other's in walkers, wheelchairs and so on look at me as a young whippersnapper. Havent heard that word in a while.