THINK before you speak

My coach introduced me to this awesome acronym to help you gage whether your input is worth sharing. Ask yourself, is this sentiment…


When all five of those are satisfied, then you can be sure that you are being the best possible person you can be at that juncture. That’s all well and good and I’m sure good advice.

But I’d like to suggest that we THINK before we insult, as well. When you take the time to be mean, ask yourself, is this feedback…


Only when all five are truly delivered, do you have a scorn worthy of leaving your lips.

I think we can all agree that a jab that is merely insulting but not haunting — a waste of breath! You want that person to remember what you said for all eternity.

Further, any derision that is up to par on nefarious (EVIL for those of you who didn’t do so well on the SATs), but falls down short on katabolic doesn’t do the job when it comes to breaking down your adversary. A truly worthy slander will leave the subject torn up and silent. You don’t want to risk a comeback, after all!

Let’s see how this system works by taking as an example, the offense I delivered to Roommate from Hell the other day

“I hope your new place is as slovenly as you’d hoped this one would be.”

Was this…

Terrible? I suppose it was a little bit, but I wouldn’t say it was that bad.
Haunting? I’d like to think so, but I bet it wasn’t.
Insulting? Yes, I do think I hit this nail on the head.
Nefarious? Meh. I give me a C+ on nefarious.
Katabolic? FAIL.

Let’s consider as an alternate example, one that an associate thought up…

“Did you move back home with Mommy and Daddy so they could clean up after you?”

If this had been said, would it have been…

Terrible? YES.
Haunting? Oh the truth! Oh the childhood associations!! YES!
Insulting? Oh yes!
Nefarious? Delivered in the right tone, I’d say so!
Katabolic? This might depend on the recipient…if he had a particularly harsh childhood, this one could really, really cut to the core. Worth a try, I’d say.

Yes, I do think this system works. What do you think? Lay some of your best insults on me and let’s test this system!

What insults still haunt you?

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