The last word: Why it should never be said.

Oh, the dreaded last word. It’s what we all strive to end a conversation with- “The Last Word”. And we hate it when the last word isn’t our own.  It could be in a friendly conversation, a heated debate, a full blown argument, or something as simple as an instruction to someone who isn’t listening. Whatever the situation, we just have to have the last word. But why? Why is it so important for us to have? Does it prove anything? Does the person we said the last word to understand what we were trying to say and then, all of a sudden, experience an epiphany of just how right we are in that given circumstance? Do we suddenly feel pleased or satisfied or even vindicated because we had the last word?

Last week, I noticed that every single time I felt that I had to have the last word, and I made sure to say it (even if under my breath), I really just felt more agitated. Regardless of the situation. Why? Let’s face it. We know that when we absolutely feel that urge to have the last word, the person we are speaking to does not care about what we have to say. So why not walk away? Why not simply let the person we are talking to or instructing, figure it out on her own and come back to us with questions when she realizes the error?  If we are being honest (and you and I always are), that person or persons you are speaking to have already tuned you out. They aren’t listening any longer. And clearly, you too have stopped listening to them. So why waste your energy? Perhaps it is because we’ve grown up believing that we are special and important and “right all the time”. Perhaps that sort of upbringing unwittingly fed our once tiny little egos and so we now have this sense of entitlement to absolutely everything. Especially the last word. But the last word serves no purpose. Trust me, it doesn’t. Instead, walk away and use that time to think about how you can make your point more clear and work on listening,  truly listening to what the other person has to say. Ask probing questions so that you can better understand what your friend, peer or coworker is trying to get across. And do so, with a clear mind. Multi-tasking is not on option here. Multi-tasking is not even a skill that anyone truly has and no one can perfect. It’s all a scam idea, but….that’s a different topic for a different day.

So, the next time you feel like you just absolutely must have the last word, don’t say it out loud. Don’t even say it using body language – and by that I mean the infamous eye roll. Don’t do it. You’ll realize the more you hold back and instead look inside to see how you can better handle the situation, the less stress you will feel. You will not feel as frustrated. That sense of fire within will begin to dissipate and you will become calmer. Create that physical distance for just a few moments and you’ll see, the last word really isn’t an important thing to have. And remember…






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