January 1, 2012

Word Vomit

Word vomit. A phrase I heard for the first time while watching Mean Girls in 2004. The best way to describe it is this: the overwhelming,sometimes uncontrollable, sensation to say something you should not say. Something stupid, or something that could get you or someone you love into trouble.

I've dealt with word vomit a lot in my life, and over the years have learned to control it...mostly. Walking away helps. Smiling, biting lip, changing the subject...all are helpful. Walking away works best, though. But sometimes it is uncontrollable and you say something stupid. Something that, as soon as it's said you want to put your head in your hands and say, "Why? Why stupid human?" Then you have to do damage control and it's a big hassle, which is why I've learned to walk away. I've also developed a sort of mantra that I say to myself when word vomit might strike. I say, "Is it worth it? Will more harm than good come from my saying something? If even only a little harm will come, is it worth ruining this relationship?" 9 times out of 10, the answer is no. A big, huge 'NO NO NO.'

My word vomit normally comes from someone saying something stupid inappropriate or offensive, and I have to ask myself my questions. The older I get, the more I realize my time is worth more to me than wasting it on being angry or causing conflict about something that I won't remember next week, next month, or next year. I've wasted too much time already.

And, of course, when I get really riled up, I can always resort back to the age-old question of "Would Jesus say something, Katelyn?" and the answer is, majority of the time, 'no.' A big, fat 'no.'

Are you a victim of word vomit? What are your strategies for overcoming it?

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