In the heat of the moment everyone is capable of expressing thoughts verbally that are better left in the recesses of the mind, only to later regret the unfortunate outburst. The importance of thinking before you speak never carries more potential negative impact than in a close relationship, where such a poor choice of communication motivated by emotion can alter or even possibly terminate an otherwise productive association. Words hurt, and poorly chosen and harsh words can easily scar a relationship beyond the point of forgiveness or apology. Once spoken, words cannot be retracted from achieving their intended affect, and the ramifications can continue to cause emotional distress for years.
A flippant remark made without the thought of it’s lasting impression can not only be hurtful, but can be received in a spirit opposite of what the original intention actually presents. This is evident in the use of sarcasm as a reply to questions in a relationship, and can be easily misconstrued as a legitimate communication of thought or expression of fact. A person with a limited sense of humor or one that tends to accept communication at face value, can become quite distressed by word use that can expressed with two or more possible meanings. In this case, it is a coin flip if the individual will view the communication in the light in which it was intended, or accept the converse meaning as viable.
In times of disharmony within a relationship, the ability to think clearly before speaking is imperative in achieving problem resolution. Careless or emotionally fueled words or phrases can only serve to inflame an already explosive situation, and aggressive word use can border on the fine line of verbal abuse if anger or frustration reigns the conversation. In these instances it is best to view the discussion as an objective observer rather than a participant. The emotional detachment of doing this will help ensure thoughts and words are presented in a coherent manner driven by logic rather than spontaneous emotion.
Perhaps the best way to look at thinking before you speak in a relationship is apply the “Golden Rule” in personal interactions. Speak to your relationship partner in the same tone and manner in which you would like to addressed. Avoid derogatory or inflammatory language, obscenities, and turn down the volume of your voice to a rational level. Regardless of the message you are attempting to convey, it will be much better received and considered if presented with simple respect.