Lesson 11: Develop a mind-mouth filter

Get one.  Plain and simple.  For me, the military mindset worked when I was in the military.  NEWS FLASH FOR ME! I am not in the military anymore.  Whatever worked in the past, in different circumstances, you have to learn to adjust.  The mentality, attitudes, and language were understandable back then, in those circumstances.  Maybe it is even all well and good when you are talking to the guys or gals you are pals with.  It is another to treat the love of your life with a faulty arrogance that is actually rude, despicable, uncalled for, dispassionate behavior.  

It was bad enough that you went through these hardships.  It is even understandable, to an extent, having to use such philosophies and attitudes to get through difficult times.  Eventually, you have to ask yourself what purpose it continues to serve afterward, other than to demonstrate a complete lack of compassion and an absence of social decency.  All it takes is a little discipline and empathy to make the changes necessary to be a decent human being.  

Not everyone has a military background to attribute their raunchy sense of humor or more extreme beliefs and social behaviors.  Maybe it was a rough neighborhood, a tough job, poor family surroundings, the list can go on.  I am not saying that your background doesn’t matter.  I am saying that it isn’t a reasonable or acceptable excuse when it comes to your relationships.  Especially a romantic relationship.  It is difficult to make changes, especially when it comes to behavior that you have developed over a long period of time, but it is doable.

Your background is irrelevant when it comes to being a tolerable person in any civilized society.  It is behavioral conditioning, nothing more.  Conditioning can be altered by conditioning yourself to be better.  There is no excuse for being a jerk.  There is no excuse.  It only seems like it will take a large amount of effort to not laugh at something inappropriate or make that comment that was concocted to cause laughs or get a rise out of people at someone else’s expense.  Know when to speak.  More importantly, know when to keep your mouth shut.

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