Remain silent

A Facebook friend of mine posted that her kindergartner taught her the saying, "Don't yuck someone else's yum." Isn't that wise?

So often what one person loathes is what another person loves - whether it's food, movies, sports teams, politicians....

Here's the thing: expressing strong opinions can hurt feelings. During an episode of Survivor many years ago I made a sweeping negative generalization about tattoos. Moments later, both of my hosts showed me their tattoos I hadn't noticed before. Open mouth, insert foot. The reality is, it's none of my business whether someone has a tattoo and it's none of their business what I think about it.

Here's another thing about sharing opinions. Opinions change. I feel a lot differently about tattoos these days.

And here's another thing. When you routinely express your opinion about almost everything, it's hard for people to distinguish things you feel truly strongly about. If you keep many opinions to yourself, when you do speak up, people are more likely to listen.

Someone tells you they're going to Chili's for dinner and you don't like Chili's? No need to tell them that, unless they ask for your opinion.

Someone says their favorite Christmas song is "Dominick the Donkey?" No need to laugh at the choice, because you'll feel badly when you find out there's a sweet childhood memory associated with the preference.

Someone wears a shirt and pants that don't match? None of your business, really, and certainly not your right to comment on it.

Before you speak, consider these three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

And consider these words from a little sign I used to have up in my dorm room as a reminder to keep my mouth shut: "You have the right to remain silent. Use it."

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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