The Art of Keeping Your Mouth Shut


Impulsiveness. It’s the scourge of the Aries, a type of marked characteristic that likely defines murderers, thieves, and people really bad at calm, stable, interpersonal relationships. Whether or not this can actually be attributed to my rising sign (my moon sign sucks, by the way, and we’re not going to talk about it), it’s the type of thing that causes me to fire off emails before thinking of the repercussions of my words. It’s what spins me on my heel and sends me running after feeling the sledgehammer of hinted rebuke. Do now! Think later! That’s impulsiveness.

For all the fun, spontaneous, wondrous places it has taken me over the years, it has also taken me through plenty of worse ones—places I could have avoided had I just learned the valuable art of shutting the hell up.

Over the years I have learned my lesson, especially when it comes to dudes. Dudes, you see, aren’t so into wild fits of raw emotion. An email sent some time ago to the tune of “I hate you” only seconds after the conversation that inspired it (though I hardly meant anything but “I love you, don’t leave” but that’s a girl for you) created a permanent rift no bridge could ever gap. The unhinged vehemence stings—an emotional welt that lives on in the person you’ve so hastily accosted, a constant reminder that you are a lunatic capable of volatile malice. And while guys may love a fun lunatic, they’re certainly more wary of the mean ones, however briefly passing that meanness is.

When it comes to avoiding preventable drama in their lives, men are surprisingly adept at remembering everything. Your birthday, however, a little less so.

Having learned this lesson using a few botched relationships as my (very informative) failed case studies, I have attempted to not keep repeating history. It is, in all honesty, an analog record of sorts, where I alter between saying everything that’s ever popped into my head at some point during our demise and keeping my mouth smartly wired shut. The results are always the same: When I opt out of the over-share, letting boys disappear into the sunset without a scream or a peep from me, they always come back around. However, relationships during which I have divulged deeply personal feelings in excess of “Hey, nice apartment” become dead corpses upon their demise, totally and completely unrevivable. No amount of time can resuscitate whatever I had killed. No friendly drinks can tamp the echo in their head of that time I wrote them a scathing/sad/too real message about missing them/hating them/wanting them forever. When it comes to avoiding preventable drama in their lives, men are surprisingly adept at remembering everything. Your birthday, however, a little less so.

Though opening my big mouth always, at the time, feels like being honest with my true, horribly impulsive self, it’s rarely—if ever—served me well. There is something to be said for being slow and steady, calm and reserved, no matter what emotional seas are churning inside of you. Take the time to process things. Let the dust settle. Let it go. Even in the face of a crumbling relationship, it is of the utmost importance to maintain an air of mystery and, perhaps more importantly, dignity.  Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve… especially if your heart is f’ing crazy.

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