Yes, in the title of this post, I’m borrowing from Paul McCartney and Wings, but I’m inspired by Mark Twain. Quite a combo, right? 😉
The Paul McCartney & Wings 1979 hit, “Goodnight, Tonight” includes a catchy chorus of “Don’t Say It…Don’t Say It” and I confess, it’s the musical score that bounces in my brain when I’m biting my tongue, resisting the urge to respond – typically with a jab. Good to get the last word in, right?
Earlier this week I spent a meditative moment mulling over creative compulsion – my need to express myself, use my words.
Today? I’m noodling on the importance of knowing when to shut up, Mark Twain style:
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Yes! A short and sweet lesson that I need to remember – especially related to interpersonal communication. (Or for that matter, INTRApersonal – the maddening inner dialogue that runs continuously between my ears.)
Interpreting Twain’s quote, I feel this: Don’t respond, take the bait. Let it roll…it’s okay. Pauses ARE good. Time to reflect, consider our words. Yep.
But I also think it’s okay to do more than pause. Not engaging at all is the best course of action, at times. A lesson I’m still learning, punctuated with an ear-worm of a soundtrack, courtesy of Paul McCartney. Sing along with me, “Don’t Say It, Don’t Say It”…