Hi! This is Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness and today is June 24, 2020. Today’s podcast is Tongue Tied and today we’re going to talk about how to lick the rudeness by using better etiquette.
Speaking can really get us in trouble sometimes if we aren’t careful. Using good taste and using good tact is part of civilized communication. There are several types of negative habits that are used when speaking that make conversation unpleasant. There is a good book which we will be discussing later this weekend on June 27 in our online Facebook book club. The book is called 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, What You Say (and don’t say) Will Improve Your Relationships by author, Deborah Smith Pegues. I encourage everyone to join the discussion—so be sure to RSVP online on the Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness Facebook page. The book goes into 30 different negative ways of speaking that we easily can get caught up in. If you would like to have better conversations, you’ll want to take a look at this book as it identifies communication habits which can be offensive and negative. I hope you will join us!
Assess your Own Tongue
Tongue tied as to where to begin to have more pleasant conversations and wondering how to lick the rudeness? Well, the first step is sticking your tongue out for an assessment! Which ways do you communicate which need some work? If you aren’t sure, spend today or this week noticing how you talk to others. Are you complaining? Do you belittle others when you talk? Whether it is being discouraging by speaking with a downbeat tone, speaking as a know-it-all, lying and speaking mis-truths, using manipulation, or other ways of being rude…there are several ways people speak which are not pleasant to listen to or be around. By identifying these, you can resolve how to change how you speak and see how those you interact with enjoy the conversation more.
Identify the Way Others Speak
The second step for improving rudeness in communication is to identify the way others speak which may not be pleasant. Do you have a friend who uses profanity frequently? It can be harsh to listen to and make a person uncomfortable and in some cases even be verbally abusive. What about the person who loves to gossip? Listening to gossip can seem intriguing but it is a negative habit to pick-up and is damaging to the person it is about as well as your own reputation. What about those who lack tact when they speak and talk. They talk about taboo topics which are sexual in nature, lude, racist or discriminatory. These conversations are digressive and it would be more enjoyable if of another caliber—there are so many other more pleasant and respectful things to speak about than “gutter talk”. How do you address people who speak this way? Are situations like this leaving you tongue tied? The best way is to confront the person and let them know. Choose your words carefully, address the person and politely let them know what they are saying is offensive to you. If you don’t let them know, they may not know what they are doing is offensive. There are also times to remain silent. It is easy to get caught up in responding rudely to someone who is rude. The person you are addressing will get the message clearer if you speak simply and with respect rather than getting into a heated argument. If they still don’t stop, then limit your conversation with them to just formality and politeness. There are more enjoyable people to talk to, why spend time where your ears are being battered and where you can be brought down? Spend time listening to people who use their tongue to speak kindly and positively. The result will be a budding relationship in good taste.
There are a number of ways of rude communication in the way people speak about others. Remember the game telephone? You probably played it as a kid. It’s where someone tells someone something and then it is passed from one person to the next until it finally gets to the last person. The last person who reports what was transferred usually ends up with an entirely different message than what the first person said to begin with. It is so easy to twist the message of others to another meaning. Unless you are speaking to the source, you may not have the correct information. Be careful in what you share and be careful in what you hear. If it is personal business sometimes the best call is to not speak about it until you can find the few you can trust.
The gossiping tongue and meddling tongue are probably among the most challenging. Even in the most conservative settings like churches, it is not unusual to find gossipers who will ruin your name and the positive experience of being at church to worship; and it happens in plenty of other settings as well. Gossipers, those who spread information about others, and meddlers, those who want to protrude into the lives of others, are not sensitive to the other person’s life. They are insensitive and hurtful by being disrespectful with their conversations, comments, and prying questions. Even reverse gossip, the gossip of telling people they are trying to stop gossip or forewarning them of a situation, can still be gossip and is something to avoid. An example is when someone says “don’t say this…” but still mentions what the topic is about. Tie it up by standing up for the person who is being talked about. Tie up the conversation and let the person know you are not interested in hearing it and don’t hang around for more.
There are also plenty of people who have “an authoritative voice” which translates to an authoritative sounding tongue. These people, because of the way they communicate, sound like they are the expert and because of the tone of voice they use they can easily command others with what they tell them. They are natural salesmen and what they say does not need much explanation. No one questions their validity for some reason and really it has a lot to do with the fact they have an authoritative tone of voice. As expert con-artists, painting the picture to what they want you to believe, they have the ability to make it sound like you are their best friend who they are sharing important information with, even if you are a stranger. These people can be especially dangerous when it comes to gossip spreading. Anyone will buy their story and do whatever they tell them to spread it on to others, even if it is contorted from the actual truth, or is unnecessary to speak about to begin with.
Also avoid monkeying with monikers. Name-calling which is typical of little children, is not immune to the adult world. This type of juvenile communication exists among adults and is a form of bullying. While a name or phrase to describe someone may seem like a joke, it can be highly offensive. These monikers, or nicknames, can become popular and cause uncontrollable damage once it becomes attached as the new name for the person. It can become a form of public humiliation and shun. We hear these all the time for overweight people, ability, looks, beauty marks or perceived flaws, things that the common population may not agree with and find it a way to shun someone by mockery. It is a beautiful thing that we all were given a name at birth. Nicknames are fine, as long as the person finds it as acceptable. If not, it is offensive and harassment, is a form of targeted hate.
Pray for Your Tongue
The third way to tie up your tongue from speaking in ways which are unkind, is by praying for your tongue and speech. Hold yourself accountable by having a checklist of how you spoke throughout the day and see if you can do better next time. There are plenty of good quotes in the Bible and online which you can use for motivation. Think before you speak and remember to always speak gently, kindly and with charity. Over time you will become more well-spoken.
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