Say what you mean and mean what you say – Episode 179


Say what you mean,
mean what you say,
and don't be mean when you say it.

Many of us have formed patterns of communication that linger even though they may have outlived their usefulness.

  • How did I keep quiet or agree to unreasonable requests in order to avoid conflict?
    • Do I continue to do that out of habit?
  • Have I made promises or threats that I did not/had no real intention of carrying out?
  • When did I say “yes” when I wanted to say “no”?
  • When have I kept my feelings and wants to myself?
    • Because I expected my loved ones to “just know” what I wanted?
    • Because I was afraid you would disagree with me?
    • Because keeping another person happy was more important than getting what I wanted?
      • When is this OK?

It is worth noting, however, that if we are dealing with someone who is drunk or violent, this kind of honesty may be ill-advised. Real communication requires at least some participation by both parties, and if one of those parties is not in his or her right mind, the effort is likely to be wasted. It may even be dangerous.

  • When/how did/do I say whatever is on my mind without considering whether it is appropriate?
    • When do I give unsolicited advice or criticism?
  • When do I repeatedly say something?
    • Why?
  • When do I say things I don’t really mean?
    • To “get along”?
    • By rote? (such as greetings or thanks)
  • Do I pay attention to my tone of voice, facial expression, and body language?
    • When does my attitude convey a different message from my words?
  • What are some tools and principles that can help me to “say what I mean”?
    • Inventory — I may not know what I believe / want / need.
    • Sponsor — particularly when I was new in the program.
      • Help me understand what I want.
      • Help me with how to say it.
    • Prayer and meditation.
    • “Pause button”
  • What are some tools and principles that can help me to “mean what I say”?
    • I can change my attitude (my “angle of approach”).
    • Acting my way into better thinking.
    • Forming an intention before speaking.
    • “Pause button”
    • Considering my motives (a sponsor can help with this!)
  • How can not “be mean when I say it”?
    • HALT — if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, I am more likely to “be mean”.
    • THINK — ask myself “Is what I am about to say Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind?” If not maybe I shouldn’t say it.
    • Prayer and meditation — to help smooth emotions before speaking.
    • “Pause button”
    • “Drop the rope”

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

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