HOW OFTEN DO WE SAY SOMETHING AND IMMEDIATELY REALIZE our words might have been miscalculated, ill-timed, poorly chosen, or simply said thoughtlessly or a little too unfiltered?
Perhaps emotion played into it and we said something out of frustration – or jealousy, anger, or simply fear.
Even though we likely meant well by saying what we said, sometimes when we reflect back moments or months or even years later – we feel that the words or even our tone of voice could have been more aptly chosen.
I’d like to say it becomes less frequent as we get older and learn from experience, but the fact remains:
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES AND SAY THE WRONG THING FROM TIME TO TIME, no matter our age.
I read something recently about a celebrity being called out for something they’d said on a stage hastily while they were speaking or being interviewed (can’t remember the forum, exactly).
It’s not about the person or what was said – but suffice it to say it wasn’t racist nor was it a derogatory comment, though perhaps a bit thoughtless, said in a moment of frustration.
The judgment of this person and the criticism in the comments section of the article was sharp and harsh.
I couldn’t help but think: what if all the moments where we’d said something thoughtlessly in a conversation or meeting – in years and decades past – were ruthlessly criticized, and shared and picked apart publicly? Not as large an audience as this example, perhaps, but where there was an audience for our words, nonetheless.
Some might say: but those who are famous …
…must be held to a higher standard because they’re role models!
…have a large audience and need to be more thoughtful about what they say!
…‘ask for it’ by being so successful, and/or their wealth or simply their many accolades received for other work should offset any criticism.
But as I read a few of the comments I simply reflected on the fact that: we all make mistakes.
I was saddened that a quick, thoughtless, yet relatively benign comment would yield such vitriol.
An actor who responds carelessly in a moment of frustration in an interview or even when stopped on the street – they aren’t reading lines like they do in the movies they’re famous for!
They’re just humans with emotions just like us. They’re living and communicating and responding and reacting in the moment – just like any one of us.
They just happen to have a much larger audience keen to view it.
WHETHER IT’S A MISTAKE MADE BY A CELEBRITY OR A FRIEND OR A COLLEAGUE…
~ Is it possible for us to practice letting go of the mistakes and gaffes made by others a little more often instead of shining a spotlight on them, picking apart their words and criticizing them from afar?
~ Can we endeavour to see the intended meaning when an error in communication has made something a little unclear?
~ Can we attempt to assess the emotion behind what’s being said instead of criticizing it and grumbling about how we think it should have been said ‘better’ or ‘more appropriately’?
In doing this I think we let ourselves – and we help that person, energetically – move on and start fresh instead of letting frustration, annoyance, or perhaps even anger live on as we share their mistake with others.
Wishing for you that your mistakes are judged gently – and offering you the reminder that we are all, indeed, starting fresh in each moment. ❤
(Photo by Lukas Rodriguez, pexels(dot)com)