Hurting others through words is so silly that you should avoid it at all costs. Just as still water runs deep, speaking carefully strengthens interpersonal relationships. You spend about two years learning how to speak, but it may take you several decades to learn when to be quiet.
Speaking is a capability. Knowing what not to say is wisdom.
- Say urgent things slowly. This will make what you say more credible.
- Say trivial things humorously. This will enhance your relationships.
- Say not-too-sure things cautiously. Being careful with what you say will make you trustworthy.
- Never gossip about things that don’t really occur. People will consider that you are responsible.
- Never promise what you can’t do. People will consider you “true in word and resolute in deed.”
- Never say anything that harms others. People will consider you compassionate.
- Don’t relate your sorrows to everyone you meet. It is true that people have a desire to pour out what they feel when they suffer misery. But always telling your sorrows to others will create a lot of mental pressure for them.
- Say things that are related to others carefully. Avoid gossiping about others.
- Listen to others’ opinions about you. A willingness to listen to others’ comments brings you a sense of modesty.
- Listen more and talk less about matters related to your elders and superiors. It is a way for you to show respect.
- Always consult your partner’s opinions. Communication can prevent finger-pointing.
- Instead of commanding, always counsel your children. Moderate but firm counsel will help you become friends with your kids.
Translated by Leo Chen, Chinese edited by Aizhu Lu