The Art of Speaking

For 2019 year, one of my goals was to learn a new word a day. This exercise is to keep my brain active while expanding vocabulary. I started this from a recent experience with a friend who said she didn't like the way I spoke to her. She noted that, for lack of a better term, that I had " a slick attitude" when I spoke. Admittedly, I was a bit taken back by the comment. I mean, we've been friends for years, met in undergrad and went to graduate school together. Fast forward 6 years and all of a sudden she had a problem with my speech. I low key was like: oh fucking well, stop talking to me so much.

It wasn’t until another friend had to break it down into words I could understand. She said:

"Dina, she's telling you the way you speak to her makes her uncomfortable and you're basically saying deal with it or talk to me less."


And here comes the revelation at the beginning of my 2019 year: What do I do with this information? I respect this person as a friend and of course I want to make her, as well as other people who talk to me feel comfortable. I want to be viewed as approachable, although how much of myself was I really willing to change due the opinion of someone I see maybe twice a year (at the most). Then, my moment of clarity came: The art of speaking. It is so easy to be offended, ignore what was said and keep it moving, or, I could use it as a growing tool.

After  that moment I had three things I needed to do:

  1. Apologize for making her feel uncomfortable

  2. Acknowledge what she said and how she felt

  3. Make it a point to sharpen my skill of speaking to people

It's so hard to admit personal aspects of your personality to work on, especially if you don't view them as a problem. I learned that just because a knife cuts, doesn't mean it doesn’t need to be sharpened.