Why You Shouldn’t Get the Last Word

You know what makes me mad during a conversation, a disagreement, a moment that two heated heads come together in an all out conversational brawl full of snippy, snarky, defensive and even sometimes condescending events of communication?

I don’t get the last word!

I hate not having the last word. I want it so bad. I want to tell the person what I think and drop the microphone and walk away. I want to be able to stand over my naysayer and give them a tongue lashing like they’ve never had before. I want to explode with all my anger and use every word inside and outside the dictionary to let them know how unjustly I feel. I want to berate and tear down and mutilate their emotions till they feel like a pile of goo in the middle of the floor and even a wimpy apology wouldn’t cut it from them.

But I don’t.

Most times, I will let the other person have the last word. Even when it kills me and I can find so many flaws in their argument, I will let it go. I won’t attack. I won’t give in to getting the last word.

I don’t think it’s healthy for the relationship. Because where does it end? You find two people who always wants the last words and it becomes a viscous cycle of hatred spewing and emotional degrading and quite frankly, even if you thought you got the last word, as they walk away, they’re getting in their own feel-good last word.

Regardless, I haven’t found that getting the last word is beneficial. In fact it usually makes things worse. You say things you don’t mean to. You express anger you wished you hadn’t. You don’t sway your opponent because they’re not willing to give into you.

Getting the last word just doesn’t work.

Online is the worse. I’m not sure if I have enough of your time to explain why you should not strive for the last word online. I’ve learned once you say something that bothers someone, that’s pretty much it. They will argue to prove their point and all you have to do is sit back and watch the cookie crumble. Whatever comment section or discussion board you’re on, once you’ve had your say, it’s best to let them have theirs and then move on. You made your point they made theirs and quite frankly, I’ve never heard of anyone changing their thoughts over a comment section.

I have found I relax a lot better when I make my point and move on. My first words were my last words. If I need to reply, it’s obvious I didn’t make myself clear the first time.

And to help, here’s some scripture to support my theory.

Proverbs 15:1 ESV – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger

Proverbs 15:4 ESV – A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 17:28 ESV – Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 25:11 ESV – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Proverbs 17:27 ESV – Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Romans 12:14 ESV – Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Colossians 4:6 ESV – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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