Illustration for article titled If People Are Reacting Badly To You, 'THINK' Before Speaking (or Posting Online)Photo: Fizkes (Shutterstock)

At one time or another, we all say things that we regret. Perhaps you have a tendency to make bad jokes (and cannot read the room). Perhaps you love airing your latest footage on the latest social media controversy (and are a bit confused if the outrage holds you back). Maybe you’re just a little loudmouth.

If you find yourself in any of these situations more often than you want, consider an acronym that will help you measure what you say, how you say it, and when. Appropriately, it’s THINK.

THINK

If you’re ready to tell me that you don’t need a stupid acronym to keep your loose tongue at bay, the lesson THINK is giving should definitely give you a break as it prompts the impulsive speaker to take a step back.

Here’s how to shake it off, with each letter outlining the intentions essential to having a good faith conversation:

T – TRUE

H – HELPFUL

I – INSPIRATIONAL

N – NECESSARY

K – Art

Basically, the acronym is meant to act as a kind of stop sign that will cause you to slow down before getting into any topic that you may want to elaborate on. Weighing whether your opinion or story contains falsehoods is a good start (True), but each letter that follows is worth a look.

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It’s always worth asking yourself if what you’re trying to say is helpful and if it leads to more conversation (inspirational). It is also a useful exercise to assess whether your comments are really necessary. (How important is it that you include your negative opinion on something that your co-workers are enthusiastic about discussing?) Is what you say nice, especially if you are criticizing or even joking?

But THINK before you speak

I’m not suggesting that you go through a five-point acronym before entering into any mundane conversation. in this way lies social paralysis. But when it comes to discussions that get into the debate area, or when you’re interacting with people who generally rub you the wrong way, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions quickly and quietly before speaking. Likewise with social media, which may require you to turn on your phone’s lock screen and think about whether what you want to say is helpful, true, kind. or necessary.

Additionally, it helps you limit your impulsiveness in order to become a better listener. As a public speaking app Weather Notes“It is almost impossible to add something of value to a discussion or move a conversation forward without actively listening” because “you may end up saying something that you don’t mean.”

Whether you want to avoid inadvertently sparking the wrath of someone close to you or paying homage to the wrath of people online, it is useful to THINK before you speak.