Foot In The Mouth… aka.. Candy Feet
Have you ever said something that was not received well? Or rather… said something that immediately you wished you hadn’t? I can’t answer for anyone else, but I certainly have and there is an old saying for this… “You’ve just put your foot in the mouth”.
A closed mouth gathers no foot… James Alexander Thom
Why is it that oftentimes, you speak before you think? Again, an old saying is to “Think before you speak”. You could be enjoying a nice morning and out of nowhere, a sentence pops out and ruins the moment. Most times, you may think at the time that it was ‘ok’ to just blurt out that statement, but really…. You are just defending your actions. There is absolutely nooooo… way you could be wrong. It has to be the way the other person is receiving it. Right?!
I have seen on numerous occasions – whether that is through my own experience or witnessing someone else’s event – that the person who blurted is – in most times – the one in the wrong.
I recently witnessed an interaction between a couple who experienced a ‘foot in the mouth’ moment. One member was trying to do something nice for the other, however, the other member went into a defense mode and blurted out everything that could go wrong with the situation. Instead of staying calm, trusting in the event and the other person, statements were blurted – without thinking – without thought – resulting in a foot in the mouth moment. As you can guess, the result was not calm or laughable and feelings were hurt.
What Can You Do To Stop These Moments From Happening?
- Listen more
- Speak less (Bible verse – James 1:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry)
- Think before you say something
- Apologize sincerely and make amends
- Don’t make excuses – take ownership to your words
- Work on your pride – oftentimes this is the backbone to not being able to trust others
- Let go of control
- Breathe – we all make mistakes, but recognizing a repetitive behaviour is a great way to begin correcting these moments
- Give grace to others
- Allow others to be themselves and to not try to control every situation
In the end, no one is perfect. We will all – at some point in our lives – say or do something that hurts a friend, acquaintance, or loved one. But, if you don’t recognize your faults, where you can learn from, grow from and grow into, how will you grow in your relationship with that friend, acquaintance or loved one?
Also, if you are ever at the receiving end of a ‘foot in the mouth’ moment try to remember that the person in question is also not perfect. Were they having a bad day? A health scare? Have an ill family member? Financial issues? Take a second to breathe and pause so you in turn don’t shove that foot in.
I was reading a devotional the other day – Triggered: Emotions at the Ready which went along with the ‘foot in the mouth’ concept. Another term they used for this is Candy Foot – people who stick their feet in their mouths continually. The author had some other great terms:
Angry Andy: Do you cause drama everywhere you go?
Smarty Sam: Those who struggle with pride or think they are the smartest
Keyboard Ken: Do you ever give your opinion on… everything?
Political Pete: Are you someone who argues about politics at every chance?
So, as you go about your day, your week, or trying hard to stop that candy foot in your relationships, do your best not to be an Angry Andy and watch out for Smarty Sam, Keyboard Ken, and Political Pete as well. They will work their hardest to drag you into the rabbit hole of distress. Trust me.. I’ve been there – more times than I can count.
Remember, you are better than that. You are Peaceful Patricia or Harmonious Harry or Cool Connie. You are peaceful, humble, and calm. A great idea is to follow James 1:19 daily: Know this my beloved brothers and sisters, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
Follow that principle and there won’t be any more Candy feet. Save your mouth for the real thing – pop in a jujube in instead.
Need some help with that foot of yours? Click below. I’ll be your Listening Lorie if you need one.