We humans are adept at many things – survival, reproduction, losing keys – and not so suave at others. The secret of compound interest escapes most people, as does the futility of casino gambling. We’re not perfect, which makes us completely adorable, right?
In a previous podcast about Authenticity and Sincerity, we canvassed the idea that expressing our every thought directly and completely might not be the path to coupling success. Nor success in any kind of interaction, for that matter, although it might help us find our keys. Social lubrication revolves around masking our unvarnished thoughts.
The mechanics of putting that filtering into practice relies in turn upon a much ignored human skill, that of self-control. Controlling what we communicate includes muting the hurtful, inartful and outright anti-social. And yet it’s so much more.
The picture created in the eyes of others by our verbal and non-verbal communication is mostly within our control. If we choose to project our best self, we actually have to be our best self. For the most part, that means doing some things (honesty, sobriety, diligence, maintaining a positive outlook, flexibility etc) and actively not doing others. That’s the control part of self-control.