We love to fuss about every wrong thing that is said because it is not polite. Centuries of errors haven’t really taught us that mistakes are expected during conversation. When human nature makes us say things that we shouldn’t have said out loud, we blame our state of mind. Other times, we blame the busy lives we live for the little time we spend filtering what we think. I sure would like to blame someone else for every senseless word I’ve said; unfortunately they were entirely my fault.Jar

If what’s on my mind is always on my lips, every now and then I hear something like: “Ha-Ha! I can’t believe you said that!”, “Ouch! I can’t believe you said that!”, or the always dreadful: “Oh no! I can’t believe you said that!” (Followed by an awkward silence). I said it; I must own it – that is, admit my mistake and then inspect it with the hope that I can learn from it.

What can you do when you say the wrong thing? Whenever I have to acknowledge my prone-to-err-primitive-human-big-venezulan-mouth, I make an effort to remember that positivity opens the door to growth. I can be an idiot! A happy lyric from my life’s “greatest hits playlist” always makes me smile and sets the mood. Positivity supports my heartfelt apology. It also helps my unfortunate words be more easily understood as a mistake, and not as part of my personality.

Ben Franklin QuoteOften, I need to go from thinking into action. A positive action serves as a token that restores civility, manners, and my genuine good side. Even in this digital era when the present can’t delete the past, small meaningful gestures can speak for you, tear down regrettable words, and help with embarrassing situations. Saying the right thing at the right time, a shout out to a special person, or giving full attention to someone precious, are a few good ways to pay it forward for my careless behavior – a most needed deposit in my “I can’t believe she said that” jar.