How to Bite Your Tongue

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Because we are uncomfortable with silence, we often get ourselves into binds we could have avoided if we could just learn to bite our tongue. Follow these steps to realize the benefits that come from not speaking your piece.

  • Practice with someone you are comfortable with in a low risk situation. If you are facing a stressful or volatile conversation, role-play with a friend or spouse. Get a sense for how biting your tongue feels before you face your adversary.

  • Check your blabbermouth tendencies at the door. If silence makes you uncomfortable, you probably know this about yourself by now. Make a pact with yourself that you must bite your tongue until the other person speaks first.

  • Allow windbags to have a field day. If you routinely find yourself on the receiving end of someone's hot air supply, allow them to peter out. You must not waste your energy countering their arguments. It is empowering to deny the response that these people crave. Later, you can silently thank them for giving you a chance to practice restraint.

  • Utilize the pregnant pause in negotiation situations. For example, if you are negotiating a price for some item, don't bark out in shock when the customer lowballs you. Purse your lips and wait a full minute or until you see them squirm.

  • Wait until tomorrow if you are engaged in an argument and emotions are running high. You might say something you later regret. Hold that thought until tomorrow. If the issue is still pressing, you can speak out then.

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