There’s nothing more frustrating than to walk away from a conversation and then think of what you wish you had said. I always think of the wittiest comebacks, the sharpest digs and the best advice after I walk away. I guess that’s why I like the written word so much: I have time to think. I can rearrange sentences and thoughts, review everything for hints of idiocy, and just wait to be sure that’s what I wanted to say. But, today waits for no one and I can’t always weigh every word or thought too carefully.
We’ve all heard “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” And in most cases I would have to agree. Too often, we substitute sarcasm for conversation. The definition of sarcasm is “the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny.” It’s too easy to be sarcastic and stay away from open dialog. If I’m on the offensive, sarcasm is my best weapon. I’m learning to just be quiet. But don’t confuse being nice with avoidance. Sometimes the “nicest” thing to say isn’t the “best” thing to say. The hard truth is often necessary and even kinder in the long-term. But, I will fall back (too often) into not upsetting anyone, say nothing and then regret it later. All of my words need to be thoughtful and caring.
Still, the words that I wish I’d said swirl around in my head. The regrets for opportunities missed will overwhelm me if I dwell on them. I cannot go back in time and say the things I neglected to say. So, I have made a promise to be generous with compliments. I will make the extra effort to make the person on the elevator smile. I will say “I love you” whenever possible. I will tell the people who mean the most to me how I feel. I will be truthful and honest and loving all at the same time. I never want to regret words not spoke, actions not taken, love missed.