Category Archives: Fear of speaking the truth

Words That Are Left Unsaid

My friends, it feels like forever since I have blogged. Words that left unsaid

How are you? I hope you are doing great!

Many things have happened since during this window of time:

I started on a new job.

I proposed to my girlfriend

I got older.

But are those the reasons? No, they are at best excuses, I simply stopped.

I let my little whisper got to me: “You got a new job, you got to focus on the work, you need to spend more time on yourself. The blog can wait.” So that’s happened, I stopped.

But I am back! While I was spending time away from the blog, my heart spoke……..

Today I am going share with you what my heart told me through this article:

My friends, as I have mentioned before I am part of the toastmasters movement. Toastmasters is an international non-profit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide to help people with their public speaking, communication and leadership skills. Members can develop themselves by doing the following at club meetings: delivering prepared speeches, speaking on a random topic or simply by taking on appointments. One of such appointment role is that of a language evaluator, or grammarian, this appointment holder listens attentively during the club meeting and points out the great usage of the English language used as well as the mistakes made and how it can be corrected.

I took up this appointment recently, and there is this particular category of mistakes that I typically to point out: “Missing words in the sentence”. In this particular meeting, I heard someone said this: “If you do not know the toilet, its straight ahead” Did the person meant that if you do not know the toilet, we got to introduce ourselves to it? At that point, I had this imagine of myself walking up to the toilet and saying: “Hi, you must be toilet. I am Shaun, nice to meet you!”

However we should always look at the larger context, and we will know that the friendly toastmaster was trying direct us to the toilet. To complete the sentence and make it right, all we need to do is to add the missing words. Once we added “Where” and “Is”, and the sentence will be correct: “If you do not know where toilet is, its straight ahead.”

Through this example, we can see that in communication, we often focus on the reducing the number of missing words as it could cause embarrassment. However lets be honest here, as long as we understand the context, its likely that we would still be able to understand what the person is saying even if a couple of words are left out.

What about words that are left unsaid?

My friends, have you ever had the burning desire to saying something, but you held back because you felt its embarrassing, or you felt you might hurt someone.

Have you ever been hurt, cause someone to be hurt, felt a sense of regret because of words that are left unsaid?

Let me share with you an incident that happened in my first year with Singapore Airlines, as part of my job I had to write memos or papers to management, and the document had to be vetted by my manager. Through out the course of the year, I never received much comments from my boss on my memos.

That was until the day of my appraisal, my boss said this: “Shaun, you need to improve your writing skill, its written in a casual style, management may not like it.”

I am shocked “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?

My manager: “Well….just change your writing style moving forward”

My friends, had my manager told me about this earlier, I would have adapted my writing style to suit the management’s preference, and not only change one year after I have joined the company.

My boss was probably trying to avoid “hurting” my feelings by not giving me feedback.That being said he probably caused me much more damage in the long run as this affected my appraisal.

While I gave an example from work, but it can apply to relationships as well.

Have you ever found someone that you like but you lack the courage to say :”I like you.”

My friends, its important to say the things that matters, someone might get hurt and that someone could be you. That being said: Don’t take what I written here as license to say whatever you want, whenever feel you like it.

Its just as  important to tamper what you say with tact. After all, you are just trying to be helpful to the situation, and it does not help if anyone gets hurt or embarrassed.

Just a couple of tips:

1) Talk to a person on a one to one basis, you do not want the whole world to know. Also if you are confessing, you don’t want the everyone to know that you failed.

2) Check the mood of the person as well, if you trying to confess, do it when the person is feeling good, if the person has just been scolded and feeling angry, you don’t go and say: “I like you, will you be my girlfriend.”

3) Be selective in the words you use, when giving feedback: Instead of saying “you suck”,  you can perhaps use the following: “I noted that you want to achieve …. to help you achieve your goals perhaps you can do…. Note that I did not use the words “should” or “must”, which can be domineering and may invoke the “Why should I do it, are you my mum?” mentality. Instead when we use words like “perhaps”, “you can”, “I suggest”, we give the other party choices and such feedback is easier to accept.

My friends, words that are left unsaid may leave someone less off, be it you or another person. Let that be the fear that overrides all other fears, such as that rejection. Say what you need to say, but say it with compassion and tact. That is the also the reason why I am back, my heart tells me that: Wisdom that is not used or tapped, is as good as not having it. Wisdom that are not shared, is as good as words that are left unsaid.


Your fellow human being:)