Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yakety-Yak, Don't Talk Back

Did you ever have one of those days where you got all caught up talking with a person and then, later on, you started to feel really badly about all the things you were talking about because you probably just should have kept your mouth shut?

No? Just me? I figured.

I have an annoying habit of replaying every conversation of the day in my head and then obsessing over what I said and if I conveyed my meaning properly. Was my friend upset? Did I use the wrong tone? Was I trying to help or was I just gossiping? I don't think I was gossiping, but now I'm not sure. Ack!

I've done this for a long time, and it is a sickness.

Today was one of those days. I got caught up in a conversation which, when I did my mental playback, just started to feel icky. Not that either my friend or myself meant to be gossipy, but our conversation sort of devolved into the smarmy range and I regret that. We weren't talking about a specific person and we weren't being malicious, we were just jacking our jaws about a situation in which we have only a peripheral involvement.

I am a sharer by nature, hence this blog, and I love to be the one to spread good news. Unfortunately, I admit that I have been known to get a little thrill out of sharing some hush-hush news as well. I do not delight in other people's misfortune, but I do like to be on the inside of the information loop.

I heartily dislike this flaw of mine, and I have tried hard over the years to curb my tendencies to be the town crier. I purposely deny myself the task of telling tales. If I happen to hear something interesting, I force myself to keep my mouth shut.

Of course, sometimes I look like an idiot when another person finds out something I already knew. Why didn't you tell me that before? Um, because I have diarrhea of the mouth and this is my way to staunch the flow. Well, you could have told me at least. Um, yeah. No. It's an all or nothing kind of deal.

So tonight I will retire to bed, say an Act of Contrition, and ask God to keep His arm around my shoulder and His hand over my mouth.

What about you, my friends? Do you ever feel this way?

(And yes, I realize the complete and total irony of soliciting answers to questions about talking too much and trying to keep one's mouth shut. I'm a work in progress.)


  1. I really appreciate your honesty.
    I know exactly what you are talking about and struggle with this same thing all of the time. I feel like God's really helping me by bringing it to my attention when I need to hush up, but sometimes I still try to justify it and just keep going. I've also noticed I tend to get in a lot more trouble during phone conversations than in person...makes me question how much "chatty" time I really need to be spending on the phone.
    "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise." (Prov. 10:19)
    Proverbs and Ecclesiastes have a lot to say about foolish babble; always applies to me.;)

  2. I do this all the time!! Not only do I try, like you, not to gossip. It's not always easy. I have only to read the letter of St. James and see what he says about the tongue to firm my resolve. I also replay all of my conversations again in my head with varying levels of regret. I ask myself lots of the same questions you do. Oh, well.

  3. I am the exact same way! I have the hardest time keeping my mouth shut and am trying to work on it.

    In fact, this morning, I also read James and will try my hardest to keep my big mouth shut today when I have so much I want to "share".

    I,too, am a work in progress!

  4. You've stepped on my toes. I just love to talk, whatever direction the conversation goes. I seriously need to learn to redirect conversations sometimes.

  5. GeeGee10:22 AM

    Hey ladies(and gents lurking out there in Blogland)let me just say that it doesn't get any easier as the years go on. I had hoped to have progressed to a point where my mouth would not trouble me in my "mature" years. Well, it is still a struggle, whether on the phone or in the workplace. When I find my tongue wagging,I overcompensate by not talking at all,and then everyone murmers "what's wrong with HER...why is she in a bad mood...?" I am still trying to model the Blessed Mother and reflect on things in my heart and mind (ideally, before I open my mouth!)

  6. quirkyloon8:05 PM

    You know I love to be in the know too! Unfortunately I am not. I can totally relate to this and suffer from that icky feeling myself too often!

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to be careful (most of the time) of what I say.

    hee hee?

  7. Diarreah of the mouth here. And sometimes I interrupt people because I have such important things to say. And I also run conversations in rewind through my head and think "NO, please tell me I didn't talk about that/say that/sound like that" etc. It's a flaw (one of many) that I'm working on. Thanks for the reminder. I think I'll need it for tonight and tomorrows social engagements.


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