"Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut."
~ Elizabeth Elliott
This quote got me thinking. In a world where communication seems to suffer so much, how could keeping your mouth shut be such an asset? In my book, Views from the 13th Floor: Conversations with My Mentor, I tout the value of over-communication. When It comes to business and certain relationships, this is absolutely true. People don't ever say I had too much information.
Conversely, when it comes to the thoughts racing through your head at any given moment, it is often a good idea to keep them there. Don't say everything you're thinking as you're thinking it. Being heard will often create more problems than sitting with your feelings for a while before expressing them. "Think before you speak," is the line that parents share with their children before they go telling everything they hear at home.
For example, talking too much while you're emotional is generally not a good idea. Airing the family laundry is also unwise. Telling every feeling you have to someone you butt heads with or that new crush sitting next to you in a classroom is probably not too smart.
Sharing everything in your head does not guarantee a positive reaction. If you absolutely must get something off your chest, I recommend journaling. The power of journaling can be an amazing release and window into your subconscious. I find my journal to be my best friend at times because it listens without interrupting or judging me.
So, when it comes to the left-brain thinking around planning and logistics, I'd say err on the side of over-communication, and when it comes to the more emotional, dream oriented right-brain thinking, I'd say aim for reservation. Keep your mouth shut and live with your thoughts for a long time before speaking if you do at all. You can!