People in early recovery are likely to gain a great deal by listening to addiction experts and those who have already managed to build a strong sobriety. The reality is that you are never going to learn anything by talking – you only learn by listening. Not only that but saying the wrong things could actually be harming your sobriety; here are just seven ways this could happen.
1. Gossip Can Hurt People and Harm Your Reputation
Spreading gossip may seem a relatively harmless thing to do, but it can actually be incredibly destructive. There will always be plenty of people happy to listen to this type of news, but it does not mean they respect you for being the bringer of it. In fact, if you get a reputation for spreading gossip, others will find it hard to trust you. This is because that if you are willing to gossip about others, what is to stop you gossiping about them too. One of the other dangers of being a gossip is that you are encouraging people to criticise you behind your back too.
The most important reason why gossip is harmful is that it can cause suffering for the person whose private business you are sharing. The likelihood is that you do not have all the facts, so the rumours you are spreading are probably unfair. These days, with the rise of social media, gossip can destroy a person’s life and it could even potentially drive some to suicide. Is it really worth risking this so you can get a bit of attention?
2. Words Do Cause Pain
Just because words cannot directly break bones does not mean they cannot be used as a weapon. If you just say whatever comes into your head, you are likely to be causing suffering to other people without even realising it. The most flippant remark can hit a person in a way you never expected. It is important that you think about what you are saying to minimise the amount of suffering you generate in the world.
3. Speaking Your Mind Can Be a Form of Passive Aggression
Some of the most hurtful types of speech tend to be of the ‘I’m just saying’ category. For example, telling somebody you do not like the clothes they are wearing, even though you know it is going to hurt their feelings. Speaking your mind can seem a cherished right, but it does not mean you have to make use of this right all the time. In fact, this need to lash out at others from behind the safety of ‘I’m just saying’ is often a sign of some deep anger issues.
4. Talking Too Much Increases the Likelihood of You Sounding Foolish
If you talk all the time, you increase the likelihood of sounding foolish. Wisdom has always been associated with reflection prior to speaking, so it is important to learn to be comfortable with silence. Some people talk incessantly because they cannot bare the idea of silence, but this behaviour can get them in a great deal of trouble.
5. Negative Words Lead to Negative Thoughts and Behaviour
Imagine if you spent all your time with a person who was being constantly negative and critical. If you are always complaining, this is what you will be doing. The words you use are going to have an impact on how you see the world. By being more mindful of what you say, you can focus more on positive words, which can have a wholesome effect on your thoughts and behaviour.
6. You Are More Likely To Regret Things You Say Than Things You Don’t
People do have regrets about not saying things such as ‘I love you’ to those they care about, but the biggest source of regret is the things said mindlessly. It only takes a few badly chosen words to completely ruin a relationship. If you make an effort to always choose your words carefully, you are going to have fewer regrets in life.