The Buddha’s Guidelines To Proper Speech

Abandoning false, malicious, harsh and idle speech

“Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech; he speaks truth, adheres to truth, is trustworthy and reliable, one who is no deceiver of the world.

Abandoning malicious speech, he abstains from malicious speech; he does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide [those people] from these, nor does he repeat to these people what he has heard else where to divide [these people] fromthose; thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of friendships, who enjoy concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.

Abandoning harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech; he speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and loveable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many.

Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter; he speaks at the right time, speaks what is fact, speaks on what is good, speaks on the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Discipline (moral guidelines); at the right time he speaks such words
as are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.”

Having proper speech is just one aspect of the The ten virtuous deeds:

Refraining from the following ten actions:
1) taking life,
2) taking what is not given
3) sexual misconduct,
(which are the three virtuous actions of body. )

4) lying,
5) slander,
6) harsh speech
7) idle speech,
(which are the four virtuous deeds of speech.)

8) envy,
9) ill will
10) holding wrong views
(which are the three virtuous deeds of mind.)

It is possible to “upgrade” our capacities through diligent spiritual practice along the graduated path to full Enlightenment (Buddhahood) by increasing our Compassion and Wisdom. However, we should not pressure others to “upgrade” their capacities. We should instead use skilful means to encourage them to spiritually grow beyond their current capacity in good time. Sometimes, others need more than this lifetime alone to “upgrade” their capacities.