Something a bit different today because I’ve been thinking; We often talk about decluttering things but have you ever thought about decluttering your language?
Obviously, you can’t just go leaving words out. I mean, “I’m going bananas” is something entirely different to “I’m going shopping for bananas”, but we can modify what we say, how we say it and when.
Take this example. Whilst watching a video blog the other evening, the presenter gave warning that the person she was about to interview was not afraid to throw in a bit of gutter language. No problem – I thought.
Now, I have been known to utter a profanity here and there, so I was surprised to feel that the cursing felt a little out of place. It wasn’t excessive or particularly strong the environment just didn’t fit.
Makes you think doesn’t it? It got me thinking. It got me thinking about other ways that we use language and that maybe we ought to use it to influence our mindset, our feelings and maybe – just maybe – other people’s, in our pursuit of a simple life.
So what can we do to declutter our language if we’re not throwing the words out? We can just change a few for something more well chosen that we really love:
1. Cut out the cursing.
Well it had to be top of the list, didn’t it? Many of us know when to moderate our language, such as for a job interview, or when meeting new people. Turns out that, although I wouldn’t dream of using profanity in this blog, sometimes I swear like a trooper when with friends and family so that’s something I’m going to be keeping an eye on and toning down. My mum and husband will be pleased if nothing else. Just don’t be in ear shot if I drop something on my foot….
2. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything
We’ve all heard this from parents and teachers as a kid. Well, your mother was right. Whilst we might all need some cold hard truths at some point in our lives, constant criticism not only does the recipient harm but the negativity of your words will also serve to bring your own mood down.
Oh, and do yourself a favour, be nice to yourself, too.
3. Don’t say yes when you mean no
We’re all guilty of agreeing to something when we don’t want to do it. Get rid of the false yes so you can properly commit to people and they will come to see you as reliable. Backtracking on a yes is just more wasted words that can leave you feeling awkward, and no-one wants that.
Have you ever had one of those chats with a friend or group of friends and had a really good moan about life? That is great therapy in my book – getting it all out and even finding solutions to a problem or another way of looking at it. I also don’t believe you should suffer in silence in a restaurant or other instance where you are paying for a service. However, there is a way of approaching these things and finding a non-specific complaint about anything and everything can just bring your whole mood down. If you feel the urge to complain, try looking for something good first.
5. Think before you speak
An overarching rule that ties in with many of the others on the list. I am so bad at this, as in, I quite often say something without properly assessing how it might sound. Sometimes it’s funny, other times downright blunt. (Perhaps I write like this too?!) This is definitely on my language modifying list.
So there you have it – some of the ways in which I think language needs decluttering to make life happier.
How will you be modifying your language today? What tips do you have for decluttering your language?
Until next time, may it be well with you
Earworm: It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it, Fun Boy Three and Bananarama