it seems that a large section of my brain power is used to determine and remember when to keep my stupid mouth shut.
There is a part of me that envies the people who don't think or care about what they say or how they say it. I see that and, while I am somewhat repulsed, I also am fascinated by the apparent freedom they feel to just speak their mind. I am often so exhausted just by constantly editing that the thought of being able to stop is very attractive.
Now, some of you who know me are saying, "you edit? I couldn't tell." Let me assure you, YES I edit. A lot, constantly. So the next time I say something crazy, keep in mind that whatever I said was the edited version.
As freeing as being able to say anything that comes through my head or that I am feeling at that moment would seem, I can't do it. First, whenever I see someone behave that way, I am instantly repulsed by their complete lack of regard for others. Make no mistake, people who do not consider their words and put the entire onus on others to translate and edit for them are selfish. While I agree that there is some responsibility on the part of the hearer to work at understanding and not overreacting, there is also a responsibility on the part of the speaker to be understood in a helpful way. People who refuse to consider their words are either arrogant or lazy, and people who claim to do so and still say needlessly harmful things are at best deluded or ignorant, and at worst are cruel.
Those of you who disagree, consider this: when one reads a book, there is an expectation that the writer will convey his meaning and intentions, as well as the story, in an understandable and engaging manner. If the author does not, it can result in an annoyed, perhaps even insulted, reader. The purpose of the writing is lost.
We are all the authors of everything that comes out of our mouth. The same rules apply.
Also, whenever I speak, I find that it makes whatever I am speaking about more real. When something is still in my head, I can try to argue against it, calm myself if need be. Eventually I may be able to alter or change it as needed. Also, it gives me a chance to actually test my thought veracity before acting.
Once I speak, my thoughts become more real. I find that I become more committed to them; I become more emotional and animated; my belief in what I am saying increases--whether it is actually true or not. Words are commitment. Words have power.
While i agree that in most cases, 'actions speak louder than words,' words speak pretty loudly. They are the first true indication of the character of the speaker.