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Damage Control When You Say Stupid Things (1)

Watch what you say or you may eat those words!
Watch what you say or you may eat those words!
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Don't you love it when you see a classic comedy and you hear people say things that make you cringe yet you're laughing out loud. The movie Dumb and Dumber was that movie for me. I laughed pretty much during the whole movie..one of my favorite lines was "Harry: "What's her last name? I can look it up." Lloyd: "Swim, Swammi, Slippy, Slappy, Swenson?... Swanson?" Harry: "Maybe it's on the briefcase." Lloyd: "Oh yeah! It's right here. Samsonite! Man I was way off. I knew it started with S though."

You have two guys who are trying to win the heart of a beautiful woman and yet say the dumbest things. They attack each other in the silliest ways. In real life I have heard people say the dumbest things while in my office and I cringed while hearing them. We all have said something we regret and wish we could take the words back. But once the words leave your lips and the hearer has just processed what you said is when the repair work begins.

I have said plenty of dumb or stupid things during my life. I remember when I was in my early 20's when I asked a woman when she was expecting. Well my friends, she wasn't expecting and I got an ear full and learned a life lesson...when in doubt "don't say anything."

I have some friendly advice for you that will keep you out of trouble. First size up the situation and think before you speak. And make sure that the person you're talking to doesn't have body guards or family around. Seriously, if you have any doubts about what your about to say and it may offend someone, then don't.

But for those of you who don't pay heed to my advice then the next step is to figure out how have you wounded the person you either insulted, humiliated, embarrassed or shamed by your remark. Look at the facial expression, body language, or how they respond verbally to you. If you know that what you said was inappropriate then damage control is in order.

I was in a committee meeting a while back and was taking notes when one of the board members said something to another member. I thought I heard something outta line but I was more into taking notes. How I knew it was bad was when the insulted board member said "How dare you!" I looked up to see this woman get up and walk around the table and confront her would be "foot in the mouth" red faced and embarrassed man. I sat back in my chair and wondered how this was going to play out. The man repeatedly said I'm sorry over and over again. I'm sorry is only a start but didn't help his situation. She walked out of the meeting and yelled "I quit the board."

When you say something stupid you better apologize and be sincere about it johnny on the spot. If you know you have hurt someone with your words you can't pretend you didn't say and go on with life like nothing happened. Looking back, you probably had an idea what you were about to say would hurt someone. A genuine apology can help you and the insulted person come to terms and you both can sit down and talk about the problems you may have. This is very healing if the offended one can get over the initial shock of what you said. Remember we all have said stupid things during our lifetime. The sooner you apologize the better. The reason for this is it looks and feels like it's from the heart. Waiting to apologize later will cause hard feelings between you both.

When this woman left the board room the guy started making excuses of why he said what he did. He looked pretty foolish to the group. Excuses have no part of being sincere with a stupid remark. You said it and it belongs to you. Admit you were wrong accept full reasonability for your actions. How hard is that? Apparently pretty hard for some people.

I had a friend say something out of line to me, I have pretty thick skin and wasn't bothered by what he said. I think he realized after he said it, he was wrong as some of my friends confronted him on the spot. He took responsibility for what he said and apologized. Then he started making excuses for what he said thus voiding his apology. So when you say something stupid apologize and leave it at that. Don't have a come back with:

  • Why are you so sensitive about what I said.
  • Really, you're upset about what I said, get over it.
  • You have said those things to me.
  • It's the truth isn't it?
  • What does it matter.
  • I was angry and it just kinda came out.
  • Kinda thinned skin aren't ya!
  • That would never bother me.

I have some friends who have to process what was said before a reaction comes forth. Some will immediately react and deal with it immediately while others will take their time and decide how they should react. When you start putting a time frame when you think someone should get over your foot in mouth statement then there is going to be a problem.

Do you need help in healing a broken relationship? Is there someone that you want to reconnect with and want help in making that happen. Are you grieving over a broken relationship and need help in moving on? If you answered yes to any of these questions give Dr. Mike a call he can help you at 303.456.0555.