We all have something to say. We all have a voice. We all have opinions. We all want the last word. How are we meant to hear anyone above all of this noise? When we are talking to someone, most of the time, we are waiting for them to STFU so we can have our time to shine. Whether, it’s in a conversation, interview, argument, dinner party, quiz, session or activity, there will always be one person twitching at the lips ready to spurt out whatever they’ve been holding in. This is why communication sometimes fails us, we do not listen to understand, we listen until it’s our turn to speak. I believe we would all be so much more connected if someone of shut the fuck up and listened. Myself included.
But if there is one thing that I have learnt, it is if you talk to respond and not listen, you will never be understood or achieve what it is that you want.
Growing up a chatterbox, I learnt the hard way that being a talker isn’t always the key to popularity or success. In fact, I learnt that being a talker was a one way ticket to being a lonely little dumpling. The teachers would send me out of the classroom and I’d look longingly in at all of the conversations to be had. My parents would rather agree with whatever absurdity it is that I made up, like Paris is in New Zealand, than listen to my hours of justifications and empty conclusions. Lovers would just kiss me mid conversation to stop the flow of empty promises and my friends would tell me plainly that I was chatting shit. It was not easy being a teenager with all of this energy and pointless things to say because there was no one there to listen. I mean, I don’t blame them. But what I did learn is that whilst I was busy talking to someone about how many different flavors of popcorn you could buy, they wanted to talk about something serious, that had upset them. But my stupid ass was too busy rambling to acknowledge that my friend was in need.
It could cost you a job opportunity.
It was a hard lesson to learn and it’s not a lesson to be learnt in 4 hours, more like 4eva. We live in a generation of talkers. Sales people journalists, yoga mums, estate agents, influencers, cocky CEO’s and anyone else with a story to tell. Some are valuable. Some people’s words change the world, others overpower the things that are the most important. But if there is one thing that I have learnt, it is if you talk to respond and not listen, you will never be understood or achieve what it is that you want. Talkers are often seen as the most confidence, determined and persuasive people. This is not a misconception but they lack skills that can help push them along. Many interviewers have reported that one of the most frustrating things interviewees do is talk over them and not have understood the question. 9 times out of 10, this is because they were just thinking about the next impressive thing to say and were not actually listening to the question at hand. Morons. I have also been this person and I can tell you until I started listening to understand, I was unemployed.
You do not know everything.
If you think you do, you shouldn’t be reading this because you clearly have all of the answers already, tell me, do you know what really caused this pandemic?
But if you are reading this because you’re aware that you’re a talker then you will already know that you have things to learn. I am surrounded by people who love to talk more than Donald Trump likes to blame the Chinese or build walls, but when I became self aware that I was being a bad friend by not listening, I bucked my ideas up and started listening more than talking. I have learnt so many things from people all over the world. Though I think I also have amazing things to share, so do other people and you’ll be surprised what you learn when you shut your trap every now and then. Imagine I had told you where to find £500 and you were too busy talking over me about your opinion on raising the price of a Freddo, sighs.
Silence is Golden.
The world is so beautiful and nature is blooming phenomenal. Even though we are destroying the earth day by day, it continues to make some of the most beautiful sounds and has some beautiful views. If I am walking down a country lane or hiking, the last thing I want to hear is you yapping on like a Yorkshire Terrier. Take a minute to hear what s around you. The sound of your own voice is not the most fantastic thing in the world.
People need your support.
Be aware that sometimes when a friend, colleague or family member is contacting you to talk it is not because they want to hear your views on if Carol Baskin killed her husband (yes she did), it is because they need support. Sometime, you will fail to recognize that someone is asking for your help because you’re not actually listening to what it is they are saying. When someone is opening up about something, the last thing they need is to feel as though they are battling over your voice. Be a friend and create a safe space for someone to communicate with you. To be honest, if you’re a talker, people probably don’t come to you for help or advice unless you’ve already demonstrated you can do both.
My point is, being a talker is a real gift, you just have to know how to use it.
By no means am I attempting to bash talkers. I am one. But what I am trying to lament is that sometimes we can be overbearing people. I know I could sweet talk the Queen into letting me walk her corgis or nabbing some extra sauce for free at a restaurant. I could probably out talk your drunk uncle at a Christmas party. But I have also suffered from this talking disease. In arguments I rarely know when to stop but some how in interviews, I listen as intently as the next person. If only I could master listening more in arguments I probably wouldn’t have as many headaches (it’s a working progress). It is important to know that your voice is not the only one that matters. When someone is talking to you, listen to them. You never know where it will get you.
See you on the flip side.
Demi Anne x