Yes and no, depends who you ask. Well, actually, most people would lean towards no and attribute it to my bluntness and honesty, followed by: “but we know you mean well…” Then there will be some people who would say yes and no because they acknowledge my growth in this area but that it’s still a work in progress. When I was younger, I did not use a filter, nor did I even know I needed to. Whatever I thought, I said. Why use a filter? Honesty is the best policy, right? “Speak your mind” I thought… Wrong! I learned later that many people couldn’t handle the truth, and so therefore, I needed to finesse my responses. I also learned that whatever I was thinking wasn’t always the most appropriate to share at any given time. And so, I was encouraged and reprimanded to learn to use a filter. The other day, I discovered my filter was not on. I was visiting a friend and staying with her is her dad who has Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve spent time with him before, but for some reason, I completely overlooked that he had this disease. So the jokester in me said I would give him a quiz on my due date since he asked at least 3 times. Shame on me! Luckily I caught myself and tried to rectify what I said right afterwards. (In the past I would have overlooked that I misspoke and would apologize later, if ever). So, what would I have done differently if I could press rewind? I would have remembered who I was speaking to and held back that joke. In general, utilizing a filter has encouraged me to be a lot more disciplined with holding back my outputs, especially the brutally honest ones. I’ve learned to either phrase my outputs better or just accept that my output will not add value to the person or group. I’m glad I’m working on this because I can see how it has made me a better communicator and person.
How do you filter what you’re going to say? I think some people are naturally good at this and would appreciate hearing your thought process and decision making behind it.