Jan. 1 2013 — 1:23 pm | 27,884 views | 5 comments
Let’s say more in better ways, and say less more often. Let’s speak our minds, but only when our thoughts are clear.
Let’s raise our voices to just the right level this year.
January: Sanitize the potty mouth.
Resolve to swear more creatively and eloquently. You’ll sound smarter than you are furious, and you’ll better infuriate those who have irked you.
February: Back-up an argument.
When asking for what you want, frame it so that it sounds like what everyone wants and desperately needs—they’ll get a sense of ownership and you’ll get a win.
March: Say something kind.
Preferably, something more meaningful than, “nice shoes,” or “great job parking.” Pay attention to those around you so that you can make insightful and memorable comments. This is best done without ulterior motives that can tarnish an otherwise sterling sentiment.
April: Bite your tongue.
When very angry or deeply insulted, sometimes the wisest thing to do is simply glare before saying something that will be held against you later. Time to compose yourself also allows you to use January’s vocabulary augmentation to full effect.
May: Boycott a piece of jargon.
Pick the phrase that sounds most like nails on a chalkboard to your ear and replace it with the layman’s term. You can trade euphemisms for truth and confusion for clarity. This is proof words matter.
June: Ask about that nickname.
Nicknames are often like vestigial tails: bits of our past that have no reason to be attached to us any more. Ask someone about their nickname and what they really prefer to be called. They’ll appreciate either your curiosity regarding their nomenclature, or the opportunity to no longer be referred to as “Captain Nugget.”
July: Starve a troll.
They hate losing their soapbox, even for a moment, and if you can manage to change the subject you’ll be deeply appreciated by everyone else in the room.
August: Practice your acceptance speech.
In the mirror, while getting ready in the morning, try to be concisely appreciative while leaving out the cringe-worthy humble-brags. It’s a surprisingly effective mood booster, not to mention it will make you feel grateful for the important people in your life.
September: Write a letter declaring your love.
Use metaphors. Balance your cadence. Be flowery. Be silly. Be over-the-top. Be poetic. Then write it in ink, not in an email. If in an actual relationship, feel free to actually deliver it in person.
October: Negotiate by asking the right questions.
Know exactly what you want and what you’re willing to give up for it. Then find out exactly what your opponent wants. Often, your opposing wants aren’t so opposing, and everyone can walk away satisfied.
November: Learn some new body language.
If you’re constantly gesticulating, wear a jacket with pockets. If you’re an eye-roller, practice eye contact. When your go-to communications crutches are put away, you’ll be able to strengthen your overall messages.
December: Adopt a motivational mantra.
It can be what matters most to you (the name of your spouse or favorite whiskey) or what drives you forward (your greatest dream or worst nemesis). Keep it in your mind, and repeat it when you need to focus.