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  • How T.A.L.K. Saved My Morning (And Could Save Yours Too)

    Confession time: mornings and I don’t get along. Waking up feels like trying to move a mountain, and honestly, I’m not the most pleasant person to be around. My family knows this well, especially my husband, who is the polar opposite in the mornings—always up with the sun, full of energy, and ready to share his enthusiasm with anyone within earshot. But a few days ago, he must have hit the forget button, and I reacted poorly. I snapped at him, and the hurt look on his face was immediate. Silence followed, then a lecture on empathy and how I could have communicated better. I was half asleep, rolling my eyes, not really in the mood to process it all. Later, as we talked things out, this little morning mishap got me thinking about Lori Petro’s T.A.L.K. acronym and how I could’ve handled the situation so much better. If I had taken a second to check my tone, adjust my attitude, pick my words more carefully, and approached it all with kindness, I could’ve saved us both from that morning tension. Upon further reflection, I also recognized how the Bible has much to say about our words and speaking to others with kindness, openness, and gentleness.

    T is for Tone

    My tone was all wrong. Instead of snapping, I could’ve said, “I love that you’re excited, but I need a few minutes to wake up before we chat.” Tone can make or break a conversation, especially when one of you is not a morning person. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Proverbs 15:1

    A is for Attitude

    My attitude was off too. I was defensive instead of being open. A simple shift in attitude from “Ugh, not now” to “Give me a moment, and I’m all ears” could’ve made a huge difference. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 

    L is for Language

    The words I chose? Not the best. There’s a big gap between “Shh…Be quiet!” and “Can we talk about this after I’ve had my coffee?” Language helps us connect, even when we’re not feeling 100%.”Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 

    K is for Kindness

    This is the big one. Kindness means treating each other gently, even when we’re grumpy. I definitely missed the mark on being kind. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” Colossians 3:12-13 

    The beauty of T.A.L.K. is that it’s not just for the big moments; it’s perfect for these little, everyday interactions that add up to the overall tone of our relationships. It’s about making sure the people we love feel heard and respected, even when we’re not at our best.

    And yeah, we did talk it out and fix things up after I fully woke up. It was a good reminder of how powerful a simple apology and a bit of understanding can be (but more on that in my next blog).

    Written by Rebecca Muyres, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, CCTP