Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Idle speech, right speech...

JohnCobbJohnCobb Hot Springs Arkansas Explorer

If in conversation with someone and you are tempted to speak evil, because of the other person's conversation or because of your own thoughts about whatever is being spoken on, or you begin to think bad thoughts, what's a nice, polite way to break free of the conversation?
I know we are not to entertain bad speech in our conversations either, so if, say I'm having a conversation with my boss (can't really walk away from him (this is hypothetical)), and he begins talking bad about a fellow employee, should I ask him to refrain from speaking thus? This question applies to any situation you may not be able to walk away from because of who you are speaking with, boss, spouse, police officer, whomever.

Shoshin1

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    It depends on the situation.

    I generally mind my own business when it comes to what others say unless I can see it's getting out of hand! Then a gentle persuasive comment here and there may suffice.

    "Ah well, none of us is perfect...."

    That kind of thing.

    On a bad day though I might join in hehe :)

    JohnCobbShoshin1lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Be polite and kind.

    If that does not work, shoot them

    eh … I may have left out a few steps … :p

    JohnCobbBunksShoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Anecdotes work well sometimes. I usually begin with “well that puts me in mind of…” and then I launch into a short, sometimes relevant story. It’s a good way to get the conversation onto a different track.

    JohnCobblobsterBunksShoshin1
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    We can not easily walk away from those we are dependent on, relatives, neighbours, gang members, our past, service providers etc.

    It depends on skilful reframing
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_reframing

    … or Noble Silence

    Or developing Right Speech skills

    JohnCobbShoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    I keep coming back to this section of the Abhaya Sutta whenever I start contemplating right speech, maybe you will find it helpful

    Now at that time a baby boy was lying face-up on the prince's lap. So the Blessed One said to the prince, "What do you think, prince: If this young boy, through your own negligence or that of the nurse, were to take a stick or a piece of gravel into its mouth, what would you do?"

    "I would take it out, lord. If I couldn't get it out right away, then holding its head in my left hand and crooking a finger of my right, I would take it out, even if it meant drawing blood. Why is that? Because I have sympathy for the young boy."

    "In the same way, prince:

    [1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

    [2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

    [3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

    [4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

    [5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

    [6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

    BunksJohnCobb
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    ...and then I launch into a short, sometimes relevant story.

    Sometimes relevant? lol!

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Actually, it's much simpler than that.

    1 - Don't be an asshole

    2 - See Rule #1.

    JohnCobbBunks
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    @JohnCobb said:
    If in conversation with someone and you are tempted to speak evil, because of the other person's conversation or because of your own thoughts about whatever is being spoken on, or you begin to think bad thoughts, what's a nice, polite way to break free of the conversation?
    I know we are not to entertain bad speech in our conversations either, so if, say I'm having a conversation with my boss (can't really walk away from him (this is hypothetical)), and he begins talking bad about a fellow employee, should I ask him to refrain from speaking thus? This question applies to any situation you may not be able to walk away from because of who you are speaking with, boss, spouse, police officer, whomever.

    In situations like this I often say "I wonder what has happened in their lives to make them behave in such a way?"
    This is a way to introduce empathy & compassion into the conversation and more often than not gets the person to think more carefully about what they say next...

    BunkslobsterJohnCobb
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Well said Shoshin1 💗

    Biting your tongue (noble silence) is hard. I would just be biting mine off continually. However reframing might help, here are examples …
    https://www.goodnet.org/articles/how-to-turn-11-everyday-phrases-from-negative-positive

    JohnCobb
  • GrantmanGrantman God foresaken midwest New

    I usually point out that the conversation is wandering into the gossip zone and I don't go there. Gossip can cause what we think of as evil very quickly. Another thing I use is if the conversation is about a 3rd party who is not present I point out that the person is not there to defend him/herself and that ethically I have to bow out of the discussion.

    JeffreyBunksJohnCobb
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The very basic framework/template of not being a samsaric/ordinary asshole is explained and deepened in dharma. Very well!

    We can all think of examples. I like to use myself:

    • Social media is the new mindless babble/online gossip and tittle tattle. I use Reddit and Twitter. Though twitter has been refined to mostly show me fauna and flora. I did use Tik-tok but had to remove its addictive ass.
    • I have a zoom meet with a friend once a day. It involves idle talk. I feel it is a social need.
    • I check the news. Once a week would be better than my daily diet.

    @federica said:
    Actually, it's much simpler than that.

    1 - Don't be an asshole

    2 - See Rule #1.

    Iz plan!
    In fact I prefer to think this way:

    • Do better
    • Think better
    • Speak better

    In short, use the better option as much as possible …

    May all benefit beings

    BunksJohnCobbScottPen
Sign In or Register to comment.