How does one succeed in keeping his mouth shut?
It depends on the circumstances. The first thing is that you have to think to yourself, “Where is the place where I have most danger of speaking?” You don’t speak when you’re by yourself. So you have to think about that. “What kind of company is the place where I’m most liable to speak?”
Let’s say you talk most at work. So now, when you’re entering your place of work, make up your mind that you’re going to make yourself a reminder. Take out a piece of string that you prepared for the purpose and tie it around your finger. And constantly look at that string to remind you to keep your mouth closed.
You should try that – it’s not so easy. And after a while, you might even forget about the string. After a while, you might become so accustomed that you could be looking at the string and you’re still talking. You have to train yourself to react to the string. While you’re looking at the string, you have to say to yourself as follows: פִּי כְסִיל מְחִתָּה לוֹ – The mouth of a fool is his ruination (Mishlei 18:7). Say it to yourself again and again.
Who’s a fool? If you open your mouth, you’re already a fool. So פי כסיל – The mouth of the fool, מחתה לו – that’s his ruination. And if you want to save yourself from that, so keep your mouth closed. When you talk, your mind is melted down and goes through your mouth. You lose everything you have in your brains by talking. And therefore, make some sign for yourself.
Now, let’s say you talk too much at home – let’s say you’re a woman and when your husband comes from work you start haken ah tcheinik. He’s tired, he wants a rest; so make up your mind that you’re going to do something about that. Take a rubber band and put it around your thumb and make up your mind that you’ll keep the rubber band on as long as your husband is tired. If he’s well-rested and willing to listen, then you could remove it.
Do something mechanical to remind you. By mechanical means, a person can help control his tongue and be successful in learning how to talk only what is most necessary. Try it out. There’s no charge here for good advice.
TAPE # 720