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At Work the Non-Virtue of Speech

The Non Virtue of Speech

In this second part series, I talk about the non virtue of speech.  Here I cover the four that are included in the ten Buddhist non-virtues.



This is pretty easy once you stop to subscribing to the rule that ‘little white lies are harmless’.  If someone lies, then I immediately tell myself that there are more lies.  It’s actually a terrible feeling that I have when I think someone is a liar.  My guard goes up, which is not fun, because I like my guard to stay down.

What exactly is the purpose of lying anyways?  To manipulate people?  I have caught so many job search candidates in lies, and it never works out for them.  You can’t tell lies to someone who remembers a lot of details.  Have you had the feeling before where someone lies to you, and then tells you the same story again, but differently – a different outcome?  Hold on, red flag!

People tell you to lie on your resume.  Honestly, stop listening to people who tell you to lie.

If someone is aware of their lying, and then has to remember all of the lies so that they don’t get caught, must be exhausting.  It’s an awful strategy.  These people get caught all of the time.  Maybe someone catches the lie, but does not say anything – the relationship is affected.

Being honest with others will result in a truthful relationship.  Yes?


Divisive Talk

This is exclusively for the negative person who talks badly about others.  Talk bad about Jane to Janet, so Janet thinks less of Jane.  Do people actually do this stuff?  I almost find this hard to believe that this goes on in life.  It sounds like bad kid high school.

I don’t know else to say, just don’t get involved with other peoples relationships.


Harsh Talk

This might be the hardest.  We say a lot of bad words.  We get mad and they we start yapping some harshness.  The key here is intention.  I actually really enjoy cursing, but I don’t curse regularly.  When I talk to my father, he drops the f-bomb all of the time.  He’s not being mean, it’s just his comfortable vocabulary,  If I am really trying to drive a point in a conversation, I will use a curse word for the point and the effect.  Have you ever listened to Tony Robbins?  Occasionally he will use the word bu###it.  He catches your attention when he is making a strong point.

Btw, if you are thinking that this is an impossible feat to not utter any harsh words, meet my wife.  Never will you ever hear a harsh word about her.  I’ve know her for 15 years I think – I think I heard her say one, maybe two curse words.


Idle Talk


Idle talk can be useless blibber blabber, complaining, criticisms, and whining to name a few.

I think the key here is to not complain about people.  Nobody is perfect.  When you complain about other people, the one listening to your complaint might develop a slight change of opinion on the other person.  This will be easier to do at your office, because there are always complaints being flung around.  Next thing you know, there will be a group of you sharing common labels about one other person.  It’s like a double wammy – idle talk and divisive speech.

Try to have be useful speech.  Yes exchange pleasantries, talk about the weather, share your thoughts on the game or the movie, but just don’t go on and on about nothing of value.

You got that person at work, right?  They get you in a corner and they go and on and you need to escape. A lot of blah blah blah with no value.  You know these people.  If you are one of these people, please stop.

When it comes to how we speak, intention is everything.  You can monitor yourself.  If you want to change something about yourself, you can do it.  Maybe you have to take the long road, but that’s ok, at least you are on the road.

When you hear lying, divisive talk, harsh talk, and/or idle talk from others, you also have to check in with yourself, check in on the inside.  What is going on with you as you are subjected to difficult people? Difficult people are here to test you.  The negative part of your mind loves this stuff, but you have decided to live a happy life; a happy life at work.  You can choose to not participate and not empower the negative person in front of you.  You just might find, that if you do that, you might get less and less of it in your life.