My Aunt Peg, one of my early mentors in life, used to brag about how she always spoke her mind. The problem was that my Aunt offended a lot of people. As kids, we’d get a laugh out of it because we loved seeing our Aunt Peg go to town on someone.
But at my Aunt Peg’s funeral, I noticed that only two friends showed up to pay their respects. Besides the family, the church was empty.
Speaking your mind turns out to be not such a good thing. Ninety-four percent of the wealthy in my study said it was a bad thing to say what’s on your mind. As a result, they made an effort to forge the habit of filtering every thought before it came out of their mouth.
The reason? The wealthy believed that saying what’s on your mind risks damaging valuable relationships. Imagine spending years building a strong relationship with someone you value, someone who could open doors for you, only to destroy that relationship overnight with a few off the cuff words.
Conversely, 69% of the poor people in my study believed it was a good thing to say what’s on your mind.
Saying what’s on your mind sounds noble, even admirable. Only, it’s not. Words can destroy relationships. Rich people figure this out long before they make their first million dollars.