“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself.” -James 1:26
I firmly believe you should be able to state differing opinions and have open dialogue and discussion. There are a lot of sensitive topics that tend to be what defines our values and thought processes by education, social issues, reactions injustices, politics, global phenomenons, religion, and the list goes on.
What I have found to be very important in having these conversations is body language, voice inflection, and lastly: (the main point of this post) the actual verbal language.
When to speak?
These are some questions I usually ask myself when I’m debating on when to speak. This list is a compilation of things I’ve been taught and things I have come up with individually.
1. Does it need to be said?
Does this truly need to come out of my mouth or should I choose to stay silent?
2. Does it need to be said by me?
Is there someone who could offer this information in a way that might be received more properly than the way I present it?
3. Does it need to be said now?
Is this the appropriate time and audience for this message?
4. Am I in the right frame of mind to speak?
Am I angry or otherwise being influenced to say things that could be detrimental to myself, my reputation, those I represent (i.e. my parents, family, significant other, friends, etc.)?
What to say?
When I have chosen to speak on sensitive topics, I try to use this second barrier of questions to filter my response.1. Is it true?
Am I 100% positive it is truth?
2. Is it helpful?
Am I just stating my opinion that could be hurtful or offensive or is this going to help myself, this person or this relationship grow?
3. Is it inspiring?
Am I uplifting someone or inspiring them to greatness or growth?
4. Is it necessary?
What will change if I say this? If nothing, then leave it alone.
5. Is it kind?
Is this bullying, gossiping, slander, or hurtful speech?