Learning to think before you speak is an important skill to master. However, it is often easier said than done. This guide is meant to help you slow down, and really process your thoughts and feelings before committing to action or belief. 

The Importance of Thinking Before You Speak

So, why is it important to think before you speak? 

Most of us tend to say the first thing that comes to mind during a conversation. We also spend time coming up with our responses while others are speaking, rather than truly honing on the language and meaning in order to comprehend the message being conveyed. 

Doing this is a bad habit that many of us don't even realize we have, but it can also be evident to those around you when you are not thinking about your next words. 

The words we choose to speak can directly influence the outcome of a conversation or a major decision, and once the words are spoken you cannot take them back. When you think before you speak, you can carefully process your surroundings and take time to determine the best thing to say in a specific situation. 

Thinking before you talk or act will also ensure that you effectively get your point across. Developing this healthy habit can help you be more tactful and gain the ability to offset negative interactions in a positive way. 

How to Think Before You Act

There are many ways to practice thinking before you act, that simply requires a moment or two of reflection before proceeding. Take a deep breath and avoid saying the first thing that comes to your mind. As you reflect, carefully choose your words to convey your message accurately, which ultimately allows you to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.

It can be difficult, but try not to say the first thing that pops into your head! These thoughts are generally unrefined and impulsive, so even if they convey what you're feeling in your mind, it may not be the best way to go about it. 

While the thought of taking a deep breath may sound cliche, it can actually help increase the oxygen levels in your brain, and allow you to think more clearly. As you do this, ask yourself the following questions, "Is what I'm saying kind?" "Is it true?" "Is it necessary?" 

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can go ahead and say how you feel. However, if you're not precisely sure what the right words would be to effectively convey your feelings, consider saying nothing at all. 

By avoiding speaking right away, you allow the other person to clarify further, and it gives you more time to think about the right thing to do. 

It is also important to always take note of your surroundings during these interactions. While some of these things may be appropriate to say out loud in a private setting, you will likely need to choose your words and actions more carefully in a public or professional location. 

Important Notes:

  • Although it may seem like this requires a lot of effort, the more you practice, the easier it will become. Eventually, you will be able to do this without noticing that you are taking the time to think before you speak! 
  • Also, remember that no one is perfect. If you say the wrong thing, quickly apologize and own the fact that you said something you shouldn't have - and promise to do better next time. We are all Wildly human.