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prudence

“Prudence is the footprint of Wisdom.”
― Amos Bronson Alcott

Humanity could sure use more discretion and prudence, as many people simply either aren’t aware of the impact of their words or they don’t really care. Prudence and discretion mean using good judgment and acting responsibly.  It is making wise choices and having the ability to keep certain words or feelings inside instead of spilling them out all over the place.

Have you ever run into someone who is not discrete? Maybe it is someone who has just been through a nasty breakup and runs his or her mouth about every little problem that occurred.  Or perhaps the angry ex posts many things on Facebook that should not be posted at all. In fact, many people fail to use discretion when it comes to social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  A big problem with this is that the lack of caution or discretion can cause others to feel sad or become angry, which is disheartening.

Do you wonder how you can be more discrete and cautious? Here are some tips on how to do so:

  1. Before you speak, think about the possible effect your words will have.  How many times have you said something and then wished like crazy you could grab those words and shove them right back down your throat?  Think twice before you let your words roll out of your mouth because those words could hurt or anger someone.  If you do have to be truthful and the truth could cause negative emotions to arise, be truthful with a kind heart and approach the conversation from a loving perspective instead of judgmental.
  2. “Better safe than sorry.” This motto will save you and others some conflict. If you are not sure whether to hold your tongue or not, hold it.  It is better to be safe than sorry for sure!  Say this motto to yourself a few times each day to serve as a reminder to use discretion and caution in your conversations.
  3. Think before you act.  Before you make important decisions, contemplate the outcome of your decision down the road. Will you be happy with your decision a day or a year down the road?
  4. Apologize when you miss the mark. If by chance you are one to miss the mark when it comes to discretion, when you realize it, apologize immediately.  No one wants to be the recipient of those that are not prudent or cautious because damage can be done emotionally.  Be the kind of person that is quick to notice such behavior and offer an apology.

Take a few minutes today and think about how cautious and discrete you really are.  Do you take time to think how your words might penetrate another?  Do you let your emotions take over and just say whatever you feel like?

ACTION STEP:

MAKE A LIST OF ALL THOSE YOU HAVE HURT LATELY BY YOUR WORDS.

NOW GO TO EACH OF THEM AND APOLOGIZE SINCERELY. YOU WILL FEEL GREAT ABOUT YOURSELF!

 

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