According to my research, it was Socrates who said,
“Is it true; is it kind, or is it necessary?”
The three gateways to help us prune what we say.
I would add that we should think about all three before speaking. Is what I want to say kind? If yes, proceed. Is it true (factually or as to me as a person)? If yes, proceed. Is what I want to say absolutely necessary to put out into the world right now? If yes, say it.
If at any point during your questioning, the answer is no. Don’t say the thing you want to say.
I’ve been thinking about these three filters a lot lately and how important they are to how and when we communicate. For example, even when we’re upset, we can deliver a message kindly. Also, when we have less to say, we are better listeners. And if we’re better listeners, what we say will ultimately be more powerful and impactful.
I think we get so caught up in the story we create in our minds and then want to project into the world that we often speak without putting our thoughts through any filters. And that’s precisely when trouble starts brewing.
I’m going to continue using these filters when communicating in all ways to ensure what I’m saying is, at the very least, adding and not taking away from the spaces I occupy.