I did it during my interview during my week at Miss Wisconsin.
I did it at my sister’s wedding reception.
I have done it at various jobs.
And with my own friends and family.
What was this thing I did over and over again? Not what you’re thinking. And certainly not anyhing fun or exciting.
I have, more times than I can count, been victim (or perpetrator, depending on how you look at it) of a bad case of “open mouth insert foot.” Of course I haven’t been officially diagnosed but I’m pretty sure.
I’m kind of opinionated and come from a long line of women who were born without that little censor in their brain that tells you to stop before you say something you’ve been thinking. And so…sometimes I don’t formulate my thoughts before just putting them out there. They just fall out.
I just had a nerve-wracking interview this past week. It was my first interview for a teaching position. I’ve had interviews before. I’ve done well in them. But I’ve never had an actual professional interview for an actual professional job. It has taken me a long time to finish school and find my niche.
The only thing I was worried about was saying something stupid. I tend to go on and on and on when answering questions and then say a little too much.
I happened to have made it out of the interview fairly unscathed and felt pretty good about my answers but it got me thinking about this again.
And I came to a conclusion.
And before you say anything, I did not come to this conclusion to assuage my guilt or embarrassment.
People who suffer from “open mouth insert foot” often come across as opinionated, know-it-all, arrogant fools.
The thing is, I really believe (at least this has been my experience) that this condition isn’t about arrogance but about insecurity.
We want to sound knowledgeable about something so we twist and turn what little we know into some convoluted answer instead of just giving the honest, “I don’t know.”
We want people to like us so we say something edgy or ballsy to get a good laugh.
We want to feel connected.
We want to feel included.
We want to feel accepted.
And sometimes we go about it the wrong way.
Not arrogance or pride at all. Insecure.
Now, I may never find a cure for my “open mouth insert foot” (although experience is a great teacher and as time goes on my episodes become fewer and further between) but I have learned this much:
I don’t need to have all the answers.
I don’t have to always be right.
I don’t have to always be the funniest or most likeable or have the best ideas.
God says I don’t have to be insecure.
Because I am enough. Just as I am.
It’s a heck of a lot easier to keep my foot outta my mouth when I know and live that out every day.
How ‘bout you? Do you struggle with sticking your foot in your mouth? With feeling insecure or like you have to prove something in social situations? What has time and experience taught you?