“The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth… You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… If you catch me running off with my mouth, just give me a poke on the chubbs…”
~ John Candy, PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
I understand fully that I may be the last person to even attempt to address this issue. I can definitely go on and on and on and on and on. Boy, I can really blather. I can often be redundant by saying something numerous times by using different combinations of words.
See what I did there? I used a lot of words to illustrate a point that could have been illustrated with many less words.
I’m still doing it.
It’s an affliction I think many of us struggle with. It’s the verbal equivalent of the movie Speed. As if a busload of innocent commuters will die if you stop talking. Rest assured, my verbose friends, absolutely no one will die if you shut the hell up for a minute.
It’s infuriating not to be heard. I completely get that. I am a woman living with three males, two of which are probably legally deaf due to the lethal levels of pre-pubescent hormones packed into their eardrums. Unless I up the volume to an ear-splitting 11, no one hears me.
But, in normal polite society, a little dead air never killed anyone.
Conversation is a two-way street, not a monologue. That’s why they don’t call monologues conversations. Hope that clarifies things for you.
You are welcome.
The people I love to interact with are the ones who seem to get this. They are succinct, thoughtful and purposeful in what they say. Then, and here is the real kicker, they stop talking and listen.
Because they understand that what they intended to say doesn’t actually matter. The only thing that really matters is how it is received. And, you cannot know how you are being received if you don’t stop to listen.
Otherwise, we’d all just walk around talking to ourselves. Which I know we all actually do. A lot.
In fact, isn’t that really what I’m doing right now?
Without being understood and truly heard, what’s the point of communicating? It lies squarely on your shoulders to make your message clear.
So, as the screaming baby has requested, I’ll sum up with this.
In order to be heard, you must listen.
“Let me close this conversation by saying that you are one unique individual.”
“Unique… what’s that, Latin for “asshole”?”
~ Steve Martin, John Candy – PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Original artwork entitled “Small Man Big Mouth” by Sean.