You said it is best to keep quiet unless you have something positive or helpful to say. I used to do this, but people used to say that I am unfriendly, uninterested or arrogant. Should I speak up more to create a better environment around people or should I just speak when needed?
Skillful communication is complicated to achieve. Speech is one of the sharpest Karma knives that can come back at you. So be careful when you speak.
The ancient masters’ advice to speak only when required. Do not speak unnecessarily. Everybody’s definition of speaking when needed is different. You decide if sharing about how sick you feel, how did you cure the pain, which spa did you visit, what jewelry you are purchasing and what stocks are you investing in, are all essential discussions.
Evaluate your words with these 2 yardsticks:
- Do you feel energized after speaking all this?
- Did your speech prove beneficial?
If you feel energized and if you think you have contributed to somebody else’s growth, preferably spiritual growth over material growth then only speak. Otherwise, keep silent.
If people ask questions, then?
You must answer but reply to the point, in a few sentences rather than in essays.
Tips from ancient saints:
- Satyam Bruhi – speak the truth
- Priyam Bruhi – speak that which is pleasant
- Hitam Bruhi – speak only that is beneficial
Side effects of skillful communication:
- Speaking the truth commands respect. Automatically people are all ears because they haven’t heard you chat too much before.
- Whenever you speak, there is a voice of a reason not a voice of nonsense.
Does it mean if something is unpleasant I should not say it even if it’s true?
If it is helpful for another person, even though hearing the truth might be a little difficult for them, it is better to say in a kind and a positive manner.
Benefits of following the scriptural advice on speech:
- Instant boost in peace of mind.
- You gain self-respect.
Self-respect comes out of speaking wisely, how?
- When you value your own words, you will not use them loosely.
- When you don’t use words loosely, others will value your words more.
- When others value your words, it increases your self-confidence.
- When self-confidence increases, you respect your words more and develop the art of speaking through your eyes and smile.
- When you develop the art of speaking, you understand that your words make you who you are.
- When you learn this secret, you raise yourself in your own eyes.
- This Self-respect brings with it peace of mind and a calmer mind.
That is the secret to increasing Self-respect. Happy speaking!
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