As a person who talks too much, (PWTTM), I've long searched for some sort of filter that I could easily apply in times when I'd ask myself - 'Is this worth saying?' Knowing of it's controversial nature, but still trying to live by my version of the truth has put me in a few tight spots over the years, and I've (arguably) suffered the consequences of living by this truth of mine. (I should've listened to Depeche Mode's Policy of Truth!)
But a few years back, I figured out/created (and try my hardest to apply it at all times), that illusive filter.
It's simple - before starting that contentious conversation, ask yourself three questions - Is it honest? Is it productive? And is it polite?
HPP - Honest, Polite, Productive
It needs to be honest, because how else will you evolve if you aren't being honest and genuine? You're just wasting everyone's time, including your own.
It needs to be productive, because even if it meets the other two criteria, if it won't lead to the betterment of lives - there's no point in starting a potentially never-ending argument that leads to resentment.
And lastly, it needs to be polite. (Or as polite as possible). Because even if what you're saying is true and productive, no one's going to actually listen to what you're saying if you're being rude. Some people will just assume that you're being a dick or have ulterior motives regardless, and that's more of a reflection on them, and what they would typically be doing in this situation. Maybe they're just in a bad mood, but if it's a pattern, try to spend as little time with these types of people as possible. (Some people change though, so you never know!)
I like being honest because I want people to know me, and I want to know them. Speak your mind! Chances are, someone else feels exactly the way that you do, and your openness might even empower them to speak their truth too. If you sound ignorant, hey - maybe you should revisit your stance on that subject and treat it as a learning experience. The more that we discover about human nature, the more we can utilize it for good.
- Cameron Gray