What to Say, Leave Unsaid

Many a times, we’re too quick to blurt out what comes to mind – thinking out loud, we call it. In a society that’s so quick to judge, and so good at masking imperfections and truth, it’s this “flaw” (depending on which side you’re on) that can either make or break you.

If you ask me, I guess there’s both the good in being so bluntly honest, yet also the bad in being too naively honest; it really all depends on the context and the opponent..

Someone once asked Socrates:

’Do you know what your friend has told me about you?’

’Wait a second,’ Socrates stopped him. ’you should filter everything you intend to say through three sieves before you say it.’

’Three sieves’?

’The first is the sieve of truth. Are you sure that what you’re about to tell me is true?’

’No, I just heard it.’

So you don’t know whether it’s true or not. Then let’s move on to the second sieve — the sieve of good. Are you about to tell me something good?’

’No. The opposite, in fact.’

’So,’ said Socrates, ’you intend to tell me something unpleasant, but you’re not even sure if it’s true or not. Lets try the third sieve — the sieve of usefulness. Is it really necessary for me to hear what you want to tell me?’

’No, it’s not necessary.’

’Well then’, concluded Socrates, ’what you’re about to tell me is not true, good or necessary. So why bother telling me it at all?’

Are you also someone that just speaks your mind?

Serious food for thought.






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