How to Lose Your Verbal Filter (and Be the Best Version of Yourself)
by Aaron Leizerovici
Results cannot be guaranteed. I am not to be blamed, sued or held liable for your actions, as well as results not meeting the reader’s expectations. Not all non-filters are the same. This guide is not the one-pill-solution for your problems.
I’ve struggled communicating my thoughts and feelings since I was a kid — and I still do. It might have had to do with the way my parents raised me (and the way their parents raised them). It took time but I eventually removed my verbal filter, which was preventing me from communicating my thoughts and feelings. Why bother doing that?
I was getting awful headaches, because I would think too much. I also a unhappy kid; I thought everyone was out to get me and I had a chip on my shoulder. Luckily, my older brother helped me lose my verbal filter; he helped me realize that I needed to communicate these thoughts and ideas, because people can’t read minds and they might not be cognizant of their actions. The process of losing my filter was a long and arduous one.
Once I lost it, I realized how this skill can be used in various situations. Here’s one story that comes to mind:
I was walking home with a friend, Lawrence, when I saw this gentleman attempting to pick up/hit on a woman from across the street (if you’re going to do it, do it right; cross the street and be respectful); he yelled, asking her for different means of communication, from her phone number to every type of social media you can think of. She denied his request for her phone number. Then she denied the first social media account he asked for, but then silently ignored the requests that followed, continuing to walk to her destination. As he went down the list of social media accounts, I said (loudly), “she’s not interested!” The woman laughed.
While that might not have been the safest thing to do, I felt liberated saying something. Why? Because I’ve also loathed that type of treatment towards women and I wanted to do something about it.
This guide is written to encourage inner dialogue and ask yourself questions that you normally wouldn’t answer, because 1) it pains you to think about them 2) you “don’t have time” to think about them 3) you get an unsettling feeling of discomfort when you think about them or other people ask you about them.
With that said, it is my hope that this guide will give you the answers to the questions you have within. As a result of awakening your inner dialogue, it is my hope that your communication improves and learn from my mistakes.
Question (and reflection).
Don’t stop asking them. Ask lots of questions. Learning is a never ending process. There will be times where you’ll get answer to questions you wished you never asked in the first place, but tough shit. That’s life. This curiosity will help you lose your filter.
Ask yourself the following questions and reflect on your answers:
Why do we fear what we want most?
Why do some individuals have the courage to walk up to strangers and ask them whether they’ve weird sex positions?
What do you think are some behavioral characteristics that are holding you back from achieving your goals?
How do you speak to people when you are upset?
What’s your biggest fear?
What do you want?
Let these questions bake in your oven (especially the ones that either made you giggle or think I’m a complete pervert). You should always be striving to improve. Think the crap-out-of the last question. Dig real deep.
Nice people don’t finish last — Passive people do.
I believe the “nice people finish last” saying came to be, because people who are too nice also happen to be passive, which is why they finish last. This led to people pointing their finger at the nice trait as the culprit for finishing last, when in fact it was because they were passive.
If you’re passive, now is time to change. It will be a difficult habit/trait to change, especially if you’re not aware of this trait. You’ll need to devote conscious thought to your how you interact with others. If you’re been fortunate enough to have people point out this behavior, it might be something to to work on. Ask yourself: why and where is this passive behavior comes from? Accepting this is the first of many actions you’ll need to take. Give yourself the change you deserve. If continue to stay passive, you’ll never get what you want and you might end up with one of these:
Example of being passive: not saying something that bothers you to a partner or sibling.
I’m a Tumor, I’m a tumor, I’m a Tumor, I’m a Tumor… I’m a Tumor: Those Negative Voices in Your Head (Do not skip over this section, even if you don’t get these).
The more you resist your feelings, the more they persist. Unfortunately, there will be times when you have to hold keep your mouth shut. Being mentally tough and not letting little things bother you is important. While I agree that mental strength is everything, it should not be confused with <a href="https://youtu.be/-WUSA7UV9x0">brushing things under the rug</a>. This is not a sign of mental toughness.
Stay focused and limiting distractions is great; it helps you achieve your goals. It hard to find the fine line of letting your mind wander too much and ignoring problems over prolong periods. After all, ignoring things that bother you only leads to tumors.
With that said, you should not avoid your feelings — ever. It’s perfectly natural to feel sad and a myriad of other emotions; and it’s perfectly okay to let yourself feel and accept said emotions.
Keep Striving to Improve.
One should always be aiming to be the best version of themselves. Sometimes we fall off track; we might say we’re putting in the work, but we’re not actually putting in the work. It’s okay, we all fall off track sometimes. But at a certain point you need to get off your ass and just do the work.
This is the difficult, but most important thing. Don’t dwell on lost time, because you can’t get it back; it’s gone. Just keep plugging away at whatever you’re trying to improve; whether that’s your mind, body or even spiritually. Try working on something that you’ve been putting off. Striving to be the best version of you is imperative when trying to lose your verbal filter. This is paramount because we improve our persistence and perseverance muscles, which we build through the achieving our personal goals.
Throughout the journey to losing your filter (and even after), you’ll have unfortunate slipups; you’ll stutter, word things the wrong way, say ridiculous things that are out of character and would never actually do. You might even say something so ridiculous that the person you’re speak with will probably hold your words against your for the rest of your life. You’ll be fine, as long as you get back up and keep at it.
Lose that motherf*$@ing filter: Wording, The Five Second Rule, “The Technique” and Staying Humble.
You can’t walk around saying whatever you want to whoever you want. You’ll just come off as a jackass. Trust me… I know. With that said, mindfulness is key. Here’s why:
The comprehension of ideas and thoughts depends on 1) how they are worded and 2) how these words and ideas are comprehended by the person hearing them.
This process is comparable to doing something that terrifies you. Ultimately, you’ll have to make the plunge, even if the steps you take are small ones. Each of the steps you take should make you feel uncomfortable. At any given point, you might try to talk yourself out of what you were thinking of doing or saying, with more excuses than a kid trying to get out of doing homework; if that sounds familiar, you’re on the right track.
If you’re in this position, think about the following: why would you stop yourself from doing something you want to do, especially if it’s something you wanted to do for a while now? Secondly, don’t cheat yourself out of living your life to the fullest. I happened to stumbled upon this video months after I started writing the guide, but it explains the aforementioned concept exceptionally well.
How to say it
Before you verbalize your thoughts, you need to learn how to say it. You’re obviously going to mess up in the beginning and have a few bad interactions to realize (although my brother pointed it out to me hundreds of times) that you need to remove all emotion from what you are saying. You must also be empathetic when it’s called for and be cognizant of context; meaning, who you’re speaking with and where you are. For the most part, this should be an effective way to debunk communication issues and insulting people.
In theory, removing emotion prevents conversations from turning hostile; it also allows the recipient(s) of your words to hear your words and not your emotions, which makes what you’re trying to communicate easier to comprehend as it can be difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time — your words when you’re yelling (or passive aggressive tone). Don’t believe me?
Try listening to two people talking to you at the same time. You probably won’t be able to will not understand both of them, probably will not remember a bulk of what they said and, more importantly, it can be extremely frustrating.
The 5 second rule
For the indecisive person in us all — we have the 5 second rule. (I’ve used this technique for years’, without giving it a name. I didn’t know it is a widely-known concept until I started writing this guide). Write down those thoughts or ideas down. This is a way to “marry” your actions, and will help you take action. Don’t try to suppress them.
There’s a 50/50 shot that things will work out the way they want them to. For example, you like someone and you want to ask them out. You’re scared, though. The person you ask out will either say, “yes” or “no.” Relation it to your situation you have nothing to lose (provided you not gambling or putting yourself in a life situation).
Maybe you have a reasonable fear that’s holding you back. If it might get you in trouble, I would advise against acting on. How do you decide whether to act on your thoughts if you only have 5 seconds to marry it?
“Fuck Yes” or “Fuck No”.
The Fuck Yes or No concept was created by Mark Manson. I do not own it. After messing up numerous times and teaching a friend or two how to lose their filters, I implemented his concept as it seemed to be the most logical way to teach someone how to make decisions in relation to the 5 second rule. Leave this concept out and you’ll find yourself in trouble; I know I’ve have and sometimes still do.
Asking yourself “Fuck Yes,” or “Fuck No” before doing something you might regret, is a good way to decide on whether to say what you want to say (and in some cases act on your thoughts). You don’t want to get fired from your job, because you want to flip off your boss employer; it might come back to bite you later in your professional career. Use common sense.
That being said, people need mouth time — just like a motorcyclists and drivers need road time — you need time to experiment talking without your verbal filter. You’re obviously going to need to learn from your mistakes.
Always ask yourself (within five seconds), before you open your mouth or act on something: will I get in trouble, smacked, fired, or will any bodily harm (that you think of) happen if I say or do this? If the answer is “fuck yes,” then I would keep your pants (or skirt) on and/or your mouth shut; if it’s “fuck no,” do and say as you please.
Losing your verbal filter doesn’t give you the right to act like a douchebag. Douchebags don’t reflect and they don’t think about what they say or do; they just say and do as they please. If you say something wrong, own up to it and apologize and try to see the other person’s perspective. I would even go as far as watching how they react to what you say, because some people might have difficulty confronting you.
Keep in mind that there are people out there who will not be able to handle your frankness (remember it’s all in your delivery), which is completely understandable. They might have to do with the way they were raised or past experiences they’ve had. But I digress, douchebags don’t know how to apologize and they think they’re always right. The world doesn’t need anymore douchebags. There’s plenty of them — they can be bought in stores.
Some food for thought: Don’t forget how small you are in comparison to the size of the world, our galaxy and the universe — and things which inhabit them.
Holding in your thoughts and feelings can be detrimental to your health, both mentally and in some cases, physically; some people experience headaches when they overthink scenarios and situations. Holding in your feelings can also affect your personal relationships. This is why losing your verbal might be able to relieve some of these pains.
For those who are bullied, or if you have the occasional rude comment thrown at you, don’t be afraid to use your voice. Make people aware that are making you feel uncomfortable or taking advantage of you; whether that be sexually (Please look for a clear description of what that a sexual crime is and use good judgement. If someone has committed a crime against you, report it to officials, etc), financially or otherwise.
Of course, things are always easier said than done. Remember that not all situations are permanent. If you are reading this and experiencing shattered confidence, because of a traumatic experience or you just don't feel like like yourself anymore, recall every difficult situation you’ve overcome in the past. Looking back, it probably wasn’t too hard; or if it was, reflect on how it made you into a stronger individual. You’re not the only person experiencing a roadblock and you can move past it. Hopefully, accepting all the feelings you’re currently feeling and losing your verbal filter, will help you get on your path to being the best version of you.
Losing your filter is learning when to keep your mouth shut and when it open it. Everyone has their reasons to lose their verbal filter. The question I’d like you to ask yourself is: what will I do once I removed it?
What happens once you accomplish everything you set out to achieve? Think about giving back. Give back to those around you; they need our help. Think about those who are afraid to speak up at college campuses, bars, those who ride public transportation and walk the streets — they might not speak up when they are verbally harassed or are being physically or mentally abused. Speak up for them. Make eye contact with them. Make their presence know. Use your filter for those who have not lost theirs… yet.