I saw something on Facebook about remembering the 80s the other day and one of the pictures in the post was of a VHS tape. I immediately thought about how much fun it was to go to a movie rental store and pick out movies to watch. Then I thought about the sticker that each tape had prominently displayed, “Be kind, please rewind.”
I thought to myself, “Boy, wouldn’t it be great in real life if we could rewind ourselves?”
For example, my daughter and I were watching "Say Yes to the Dress" over the holiday weekend and there were mothers, sisters, and friends who were stealing the joy out of the bride’s day by telling her a certain dress was hideous or stupid-looking. Maybe these people were trying to be helpful, but in my opinion they were just being mean. We watched time and again as a joyous bride-to-be was transformed from Cinderella at the ball to Cinderella being put down by her evil step-sisters.
Why would her loved ones do that to her? I can think of a couple of reasons. First, they are just selfish people who are more concerned about being right and being heard than they are of her feelings and second, they just don’t think about what they are saying.
I can honestly say that I have said or did the wrong thing before for both reasons. Now, I’m not someone who likes to be mean to people. In fact, I’m a bit of a people pleaser and really want everyone to like me. But there are plenty of times when I’m more concerned with being right than I am the other person’s feelings. Like I said, I really like to be liked but I love to be right!
Also, there are many times when I just plain say something stupid, sometimes in an effort to be funny but many times just because I let my mouth flap without engaging my brain.
So, back to the point of this column. Wouldn’t it be great if I could rewind in order to be kind? When I am making a joke at another’s expense I could just pause the situation, rewind to a spot before I opened my mouth and start it again without the comment. This would be such a great thing for times when I hurt my loved ones with careless words, when I let my temper get the best of me and let off with a tirade, when I say a word I don’t want my precious granddaughter to pick up, or just about anytime.
Unfortunately there is no rewind machine for real life live streaming. So what are we to do? Here are a few tips to help you curb your tongue so you won’t be searching for a rewind button.
- Practice keeping it shut. Remind yourself how important listening is over talking. When you are talking you aren’t learning anything about someone else. You already know everything you know.
- Examine your motives. If you, like me, want to be right all the time think about why you feel that way. Take out a notebook and start writing about your feelings. Focus on the times you have been a bit of a know-it-all at the expense of others.
- Meditate or spend time quietly daily. If you are calm inside you are less likely to be an over-talker outwardly.
Hopefully these three tips will help you be kind without the need to rewind.