One of my favorite comedians, Henry Cho, has a hilarious bit where he talks about how to insult someone in a kind manner. In this particular standup routine, he details how his wife’s southern family will cut someone down and then add “God bless her soul.”
She definitely has some junk in the trunk, God bless her soul. His singing sounds like a sick bird, God bless his soul. The cook needs cooking lessons, God bless her soul.
I find myself filtering my remarks in a similar manner – only it’s usually after the fact and after I have put my foot in my mouth. My saving grace phrase is typically, “Just Sayin’”
Just sayin’ allows me to take the edge off of the comment and backtrack a little. It temporarily justifies the comment and provides me with a disclaimer. It doesn’t make me accountable and lets me get away with the ridiculous things I say before thinking.
It’s wrong – I know. It’s a defense mechanism and should be a reminder of how much I need to filter my thoughts.
But, as Henry Cho points out in his bit, it’s an outlet for our bold statements and in his comedic fashion, he shows how we can laugh at our irresponsible justifications and hopefully learn to shut our mouths at the right time.
This lesson is one of life’s most difficult challenges. When our mouths move faster than our minds, the truth is likely to slip out – adding insult to injury. The truth is hard to hear and so we fluff the harshness with a disclaimer, a God bless her soul, or a Just Sayin’.
I wonder how much more respect (or enemies) I would gain if I quit buffering the truth and just let it roll. I’ll never know until I quit Just Sayin’ or learn to shut my mouth altogether.
– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Nov. 27, 2009
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