I have a bona fide audience and a little gravitas. When I speak, some people listen. I am generally recognized a nice person. And I am always accountable for the words that come out of my mouth.
But sometimes I am like you. I have diarrhea of the mouth.
This is okay for the most part. I never say anything so abhorrent that I can’t walk it back. And my heart is in the right place. I also know that I am a flawed individual. I am lucky that people love me and forgive me. Pass the potatoes.
So diarrhea of the mouth isn’t a huge problem in my life, but it might be a problem in your life if you are a dick.
How do you know if you’re a dick?
- Well, sometimes the ‘lack of feedback’ can be quite telling. If no one tries to stop you from putting your foot in your mouth, it could mean that no one cares.
- And if you only ever hear from people who criticize you, that’s another sign. When you just hear from haters, the people who love you have given up.
But most of us are okay. We are not dicks. We are just careless with our colleagues and loved ones.
What can you do when you’ve said something you shouldn’t say? Well, if it’s not racist, you might be able to save yourself.
- You can stop and say, “I’m sorry. I am going off on a tangent.” Then get back to your less offensive point.
- Real-time communication is important. You can go back and retroactively correct yourself in the conversation.
- If you don’t catch your diarrhea until you’ve made a mess, you can clean it up with an apology.
But the best way to prevent diarrhea of the mouth is to take a verbal Imodium. Only say nice things about people, places, former bosses, colleagues, friends, animals and competitors. Really.
Or just be quiet. That works, too.
If you STFU and act with humility and grace, you can stop diarrhea of the mouth before it starts.