Saturday, 17 January 2009

Foot in Mouth Syndrome

Come on, admit it!

We've all done it!

Opened our mouths and exercised our vocal chords before engaging our brains.

Some of my faux pas have beggared belief and, no, I'm not going to go through the acute embarrassment all over again by recounting them to you. Just be assured that, long after the injured party has forgotten my foolish words, I will still be beating myself up with shame and guilt at my innate ability to put my foot in my mouth.

There are some people who do it regularly without a care and probably never even register the hurt and indignation that they leave in their wake. Sometimes I wish I could be that way. Thick skinned and self-absorbed enough not to notice or, at least, not to let it prey on my mind ad nauseum.

You know what it's like. The instant those words come out of your mouth, you can feel the hot flush staining neck and cheeks and the frantic beating of your heart as the panic starts to rise. The sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and the desperate wish that you could take the words back. Slow motion rewind and not speak at all. But it's too late, the cat is out of the bag, Pandora's box is opened, or someone is just incredibly hurt by your thoughtlessness.

If only, like the radio, life were on a 10 second delay before transmitting.

9 comments:

Rach said...

I am better at it nowadays maybe that's because I tend to think before I speak where as when I was younger no thought went into it at all.

But believe you me I do still have my moments...x

scarlet-blue said...

Oh, I'm still fretting about things I've said from five years ago...
Sx

southerngirl said...

I tend to do many things 'in a rush' and am so good at the foot-mouth stuff, I could be a paid professional. :) I can relate.

Jackie Adshead said...

But are people as deeply aware of the faux pas as you are? I bet the majority aren't. What I hate is when someone gets upset over something they THINK I meant, rather than my intended (unhurtful) meaning.

Polar said...

Foot in mouth disease hits me from time to time...
I'm very good of snapping it off at the knee, and chase it with the other foot!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I think it's best to acknowledge your mistake straight away. Laugh, apologise and then blame someone. In Muriel's Wedding, Muriel asked a white South African swimmer whether he was black.

having my cake said...

Rach - I do try to think but so often the sentence sounds ok in my head, but the instant it hits the ether...

Miss Scarlet - Me too, me too

SG - I think that's it. In our rush to multitask, we dont always think it through properly

Jackie - That's a good point. The recipient does play a part also and perhaps 'intent' should be taken into account as well as not being quite so thin skinned.

Polar - You'll have to teach me how to do that :)

Mr Bananas - That's a good piece of advice. Perhaps by using that action, a lot of internal masochism could be avoided.

Lady in red said...

perhaps it is part of our Aries makeup although as I get older I am learning not to beat myself up over it so much.

Cate said...

I feel like I do this constantly! But Jackie has made a good point - we are probably harder on ourselves than the person we offended would ever be. Plus I don't give people credit for realising what I meant to say and understanding the nature of my faux pas.

I still beat myself up over it though!

Cate xxx