What is Right Speech? Saying the right thing to a person? It is that and more. It’s a way to improve your life and those around you by making sure your speech is calm, thoughtful and helpful.
Sometimes saying the right thing can be difficult. Even choosing the right thing to say can be difficult. Using ideas from Buddhism here’s 4 steps to achieving Right Speech.
1. Is what you wish to say beneficial to the person?
Do they need to hear what you are about to say? Will it improve them in some way? Then the simple answer is yes. However, if the answer is ‘no’ then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle – maybe it’s best to keep it to yourself otherwise run the risk of offending someone.
2. Is what you wish to say true?
What a world we live in where the idea of truth can be debated. It is up to your better judgement to make that decision and if you are aware of absolute truths like scientific facts and moral black-and-whites… well, I think you’re onto a winner here.
3. Is what you wish to say going to be welcome?
What you wish to say may be like a high five. You know it’s going to be beneficial and no truer thing will ever happen. But if it’s not going to be welcomed by the other person with an open palm then be careful.
Or at least be wary because a wrong word or high-five placement can escalate quickly.
4. Be free to say it (be wary in some cases)
I say be wary because sometimes people can be temperamental. If they are everything but welcome then there may be an issue but if you feel comfortable then you will be able to have a conversation using Right Speech.
So to putting in three simple words if you’re interested in conversing in a more calm, thoughtful and helpful manner when then remember: will it be beneficial, true and welcome? If so be free to say it.