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When you have mastered the taming of the tongue then you can master almost anything. It is people’s natural reaction to tell someone off or try to get their point across even it means that your mouth is being reckless. In today’s society people think that it is a strength to “read people.” I used to be one of those people. If you looked at me wrong, said something to me that I perceived as wrong, or got smart with me then I would go off on you; to the point that you knew to never come for me again.
But that thought process has changed for me. With age and maturity, I now understand the art of taming the tongue, and choosing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it, if you say it at all, is strength and not a weakness.
Understand that when you chose to tame your tongue and not respond people may look at you crazy. I remember when I made the decision to just shut my mouth and not speak on everything, my friends around me said:
“I cannot believe that you let them talk to you like that, that is not like you, and you should have went off on her!”
But what would be the point of that. All you would have in two people arguing in public embarrassing themselves. When you respond aggressively to people who are aggressive to you, that is not called courage, it is not asserting yourself, it is called immaturity. It is a sign that someone lacks the ability to articulate themselves properly and the only thing that can do it be loud and threaten other people, to try to assert their “strength.”
Destructive communication is where you escalate an issue and make things worse. Were the person is left feeling disrespected causing them to say things to disrespect you. Despite common belief this is not an effective way to communicate. When you speak the whole point is to be heard. And when you are being all reckless with your mouth saying any and everything that comes to mind, the other person is not going to hear you. They are just going to get defensive and give out the same reckless behavior you just gave to them.
Constructive communication is no matter how a person responds to you. You are able to respond in a calm and productive way. Still being able to get your point across without starting an argument.
That is why it is always important to think before you speak. Think about what you will say, think about how it will come across, and think about why you are saying it. Are you saying it to be hurtful? To get smart with someone? Or to show someone how loud you are? And if that is your main reason for saying something how is that helping a situation?
When you enter a job, school, a relationship, or anytime you have to communicate with people. You are going to have a disagreement. Do you really want to be known as the woman yelling all the time for everything little thing? The woman that people are afraid to say anything to because you are going to try to “prove your point” in the most disrespectful way possible. Or do you want to be the mature, intellectual woman that no matter what anyone says to you, you are able to respond with grace and pose.
Taming the tongue is knowing when to speak and learning to speak things of value. When people go off on me I know that in the back of my mind that I can go off on you 10 times worse. I know that my bark is way bigger than your bark and my bite is way bigger than your bite. And no matter how big and bad you think you are, I can tear you down within 5 minutes because that is how ruthless I WAS. But I am no longer that way because I understand that this is not something to be valued or treasured. Knowing that I can go off on you but choosing not to, shows a great amount of self-control and maturity. So while people are looking at me thinking they have the advantage over me. I am looking at them, knowing I really have the advantage over them.
I have the ability to control my mood, to control my anger, and to control my tongue. These are things that come with being an educated, intelligent, GROWN woman. And since they have not mastered these things, I just see them as a grown woman in training. I have learned something that they have yet to even realize or discover. And that is, I run this. Meaning I control what my mind thinks, what I say, and what I do. Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) (see my blog here to read more on that topic). Meaning that if something reckless in coming out of your mouth, than that means your heart is corrupted.
I chose and encourage everyone to choose not ruled by emotions and do not have to say everything you feel. I have a PhD and I have the ability to articulate myself and get my point across in a productive way, making a situation better not worse. Can you imagine me having a PhD acting speaking any kind of way to people. Imagine how that would effect my image? Imagine how unsure people would be of my professional abilities of I did not know how to control my mouth?
Not only do I know when you walk away and leave the other person standing there yelling at themselves. But I also know how to use my words to calm the other person down when they are being reckless. And so my ability to control myself is way stronger than their ability to have diarrhea at the mouth. Therefore maintaining control of the situation at hand.
You do not need to go off on everyone. You do not need to fight everyone or have arguments with everyone. This is not strength. This is a weakness. Having control over yourself is strength. Taming the tongue is a strength. No matter what you say your words do have meaning and have the power to speak life or death.