Patterns of Speech

This Lent one thing I am hoping to grow more aware of is the way (or ways) I speak with others. Especially when I’m feeling at ease and commenting instinctively on this or that.

Someone has been trying to make me aware of some of my quick-to-name-and-analyze ways, which are appropriate in some contexts but not in others, and don’t allow every human being to feel they can keep up or contribute their own voice.

Our gifts are also our curses, and Lent seems a good season for not being afraid to observe some of our most familiar ways of being with a curious eye. Not to cast judgment upon ourselves, and not to become all tangled up in self-consciousness, but to see what we can learn if we put the pause button on more often before we act in the world in some habitual way.

What have you come to learn about your own patterns of speech with others? Their gift sides; their harder sides?

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4 thoughts on “Patterns of Speech

  1. Amy, I like the Pause Button idea a lot. It is the impulsive, combustible comments that so often hurt or that we regret after saying them.

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  2. Amy,
    Amen! My “from the hip” comments can be deadly without my knowing I’ve said something hurtful. I must say though that having sought out individuals whom I’ve hurt in this way to apologize has led to some deeper and better relationships. Maybe someday I’ll learn to skip the hurtful words and and find ways to improve relationships without them.

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  3. Benedict quotes Proverbs in Chapter 6 of the Rule: “In a flood of words you will not avoid sin.” How true!

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  4. And sometimes it’s not hurtful things we say so much as simply the style of being a rapid thinker. How good to have friends whom one doesn’t need to protect from the strength of one’s mind! I could never be Amy in this world without them. But how good also–if far more challenging–to learn when to accelerate and when to brake a verbally rich way of communicating, even when nothing said is itself harmful to another.

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