Someone telling you they have no filter is usually code for them being an asshole. I would like to meet someone who doesn’t have a filter but is super nice. Like they are walking around the grocery store and can’t keep themselves from complimenting people, saying how nice the apples look, how the floors look all shiny. That would be cool.

Filters for our words are important.

We all have filters, but we rarely look at what they are or why they are in place.

Some filters are there because of social desirability and basic decency. Don’t tell people their new haircut makes them look like Poppins from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or that you think their baby is kind of ugly.

Other filters are authority or consequence-based. How you speak to your boss or police officers and judges needs to be different than how you speak to your friends. This is especially relevant to the people with the least amount of social and political capital in our society. Privilege has become a very overused word, but there is a strong element of privilege in what filters you can get away with not having in these situations.

Many people function under filters that were imposed on them as children, often by well-meaning parents, but they are filters that keep them from expressing or standing up for themselves or from creating heathy boundaries. They were taught to keep quiet, not rock the boat, and tolerate whatever people offer them because it’s “the right thing to do”. Some people were taught to filter out their creativity or humor through condemnation or criticism, others were given the idea that conflict and confrontation are bad things.

Do you ever question what keeps you from saying what you want to say?

Are these reasons valid, or do they keep you from expressing things that needs to be expressed?

How we say things is important, but there are few things that change for the better without some degree of conflict or confrontation. Are you afraid to say these things?

Examine your filters.

See where they come from, why you have them.

Are they serving you?