Sometimes I get so frustrated with technology, email spammers, political telemarketers, crazy drivers, or even family members that I think screaming, or letting them know what I REALLY think, is a great idea!

 

It’s probably not.

 

But the temptation is real!

 

Most of the time, I know I probably shouldn’t say what I’m thinking, but I still say too much. What I need is a filter that lets the kind words out, but keeps the unkind words in, the way the screen on a window lets you feel the breeze but keeps out the bugs.

 

Thinking about this weakness the other day, I created an acronym using the word FILTER. Since I’m probably not the only one who struggles to hold her tongue, I thought I’d share it.

 

F – Feel the urge (Recognize the warning signs.)

I – Ignore the immediacy (Pause to breathe.)

L – Linger to listen (Give the Holy Spirit or your conscience time to kick in.)

T – Think it through (Is it helpful? Can it wait? How else can you say it?)

E – Engage empathy (How might it be received or misunderstood?)

R – Relay what really needs to be said (Softer, slower, kinder)

 

Communication is the hardest part of most relationships, but it gets easier when we take the time to FILTER what we want to say.

 

What helps you hold your tongue?