"Before speaking, let your words pass through these three gates:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
All of us have been in situations where we have found ourselves suddenly saying something that caused hurt or embarrassment to another person. After putting our foot in our mouths, we may be filled with remorse, and wonder what we were thinking. The point is; in that moment of unconsious speech, we weren't in our right minds; we weren't mindful of what we were saying, and therefore ended up causing suffering for another human being.
Speaking skillfully, in a way that causes no harm to another person and actually uplifts them, requires practice, and a committment to actually listen to what is being said. So often, if we are honest, even as someone is sharing their hearts with us, we may find that we aren't really listening, but only preparing to respond with our own story. Rarely, if ever, do we actually listen to another peron in a way where that person feels seen and heard.
In this practice of deeply listening to another, we may find that we need to say nothing for our friend to feel that they have been heard. We may also find that in cultivating a still presence that deeply listens, other people know they can relax in our presence without having to say or do anything.
In this way, we also find that, if we offer any words to our friend, they will be filled with compassion and come from a space of Love, respect, and deep listening.
This is the heart of true intimacy, where Silence itself speaks much louder than any words we could ever say.