I randomly thought about this phrase in the middle of my sleep last night. If there's one thing I will allow to temporarily interrupt my sleep, it's a blog post title. I considered being extra cheeky and titling this post “Talk is Cheat”, but I decided to cool it on the word play. There's an intrinsically shady tone from this phrase, but it's really just the truth. It reminds me of all the times I've fibbed about my talents on a resume. Me, not thinking about ever needing to know how to use pivot tables on Excel. Until I'm asked at work to use pivot tables on Excel - oop.
This post kind of goes hand in hand with the one about intent vs. impact. We say lot’s of things sometimes because we truly mean them even if we don’t always follow through (saying what we think others want to hear), and other times we say things that we know are deceitful in hopes it never catches up to us (talking to hear ourselves talk). Which one do you prefer? Being told what you want to hear, or conversation fillers? Hopefully most conversations we engage in aren’t so black and white with these two equally sucky options. But it seems like often times we push ourselves into a corner where speaking with authenticity is no longer a viable option, it’s weird.
Granted, I don’t believe we choose between talking to talk vs. saying what others want to hear because we’re natural liars (some of y’all might be, though) – but the consequences of setting a fib straight every once in a while are fewer than those of saying something honest that can hurt you or someone else. I guess it depends on the circumstance and the repercussions of our words and our actions. When there are so many factors that determine our actions and what we say - sometimes keeping track of of our morals isn't a priority, although it ought to be.
Ok so, my initial scenario was based on a harmless self-enhancement, but when you up the ante on the circumstance like personal relationships or even our faith, our two crappy options just...aren't options. Yeah we can decide between talking to talk or to appease those around us but in the end our choices aren't really convincing anyone, ourselves included. Until my actions are commensurate to my words, I’m not going myself or anyone any favors by just saying them.
So which of the two crappy options do I prefer? If I had a choice, neither. There's no shame in “I don't know”. Maybe for a little, sure. There's less uncertainty in those words than talking just to talk or to saying what others want to hear.
Talk is cheap, but it can cost you. An important phrase I have learned and hope I can apply to my personal life, work life, and my faith. I can think of so many times I wish I could take back what I said because I couldn't back it up. Or just times I have said completely stupid stuff no I wish I could literally drag the words back into my mouth and swallow. But, I try not to have too many regrets. I hope that at least the way I choose my words result in their intended impact (or at least positive) and the people I interact with have the same intentionality behind their words.