Communicating Effectively: Wise Speech


Communication was already difficult before the digital age. Today, it seems, it is almost impossible to understand exactly what someone means when a message comes in through a digital platform. Tone, context, or attitude can so easily be misconstrued from something different than what is intended. With digital communication taking up so much of our day, we are hardly left with practice for communicating with each other on a regular basis.

Communicating Effectively: Wise Speech

Hundreds of books, talks, Facebook posts, Youtube Videos, how-to guides, and lists exist to teach us ways to communicate effectively. We communicate one way in the workplace and we communicate another way at home or on the bus. Thankfully, the Buddha left us six simple guides for communicating well. He called these principles Right Speech.

Applying right speech to everyday communication helps us do two things. First, we assert boundaries. Not only do we create healthy limitations for ourselves, but we are able to keep others accountable as well. Second, we act in self-compassion, which in turn helps us be compassionate toward others.

Before sending off any text, tweet, post, or sneeze, we should be inspired to ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Are we speaking out of goodness? Is the intention of our speech geared toward something positive rather than something negative
  • Is what we are going to say true? Have we rounded a few corners in accuracy and made things seem as they are not?
  • Will we be helpful when we say this?
  • Are we acting impulsively or have we take the time to reflect?
  • Is our speech meant to be impactful or punishing?
  • Is our communication unsolicited?

No matter the medium or the topic, speaking authentically, from a mindful state of awareness and compassion, will always guarantee an understanding. If we are inspired to pen a searing reaction, we should be mindful of that experience. Can we let go of the attachment to communicating right this very second? Is that we are going to say necessary?


Day by day we see a shift in our patients at Refuge Recovery. By practicing evidence based treatment along Buddhist spiritual lines, our patients transform their lives. We offer treatment for substance abuse, trauma and more. Call us today for more information on our programs of recovery 323-207-0276

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