Don't worry, just two more days and you'll be done listening to me and my big mouth. I will also try to keep today's post short and sweet so you don't see this side of me come out, which tends to make itself most evident in rambling posts such as these. So I'll focus in on a few annoying manners of excessive talking that need some work in my own life,
Interrupting. Interrupting is synonymous with selfishness. Selfishness is synonymous with a few of interrupting's synonyms such as: bothersome, intrusive, encumbering or meddling. To interrupt shows the listener that what I have to say is more important than what you have to say. And here's the truth behind this act: if I interrupt the person I'm having a conversation with, that person is less likely to listen. I just lost their respect because I did not act with courtesy. Interrupting proves one thing: I am a fool.
I cannot even count how many times I've been guilty of this one and I'm ashamed of it. "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." - Proverbs 18:13
Not really listening. This is purely another act of selfishness if nothing else. If I cannot wait for one person to finish a story or spouting an opinion before inserting my own story/opinion/beliefs, I am not really listening. In this case I'll find myself wanting to interrupt. If I'm wanting to interrupt I might as well actually do it because I doubt I'll be able to recount any of the details of what that person just told me anyhow.
"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." - Proverbs 18:2
Repetition. Stop telling the same story or repeating the same opinion over and over and over again. Repetition makes the listener stop listening. (Duh.)
Pointless rambling/Recognizing when to just shut up. I've been with my hubby for 8 years now and I'm beginning to recognize that he has this unintentional, get to the point-glassed over look. You'd think 8 years of practicing "getting to the point" and recognizing at least one person's "glassed over" look would help in shutting my mouth. I know it's improved, but I still have work to do. Not everyone wants to hear every thought that pops into my brain! Besides if I shared everything, listeners would be confused (hence pointless rambling). Did you know one of the synonyms for rambling is confused? Point proven. Develop the ability to recognize when to just shut up by asking a few questions:
- Who did most of the talking in the conversation I just had?
- Who did we talk most about? (If the answer is me, an apology needs to be made. Ahem, make it short and sweet for pete's sake.)
- What were some of their facial expressions while I talked?
- How did they respond to me?
- Did I ever interrupt this person?
- Did I ask this person questions? Do I remember their response?
- Can I recount any details of what this person told me?
Asking myself these questions moves ME out of the spot light and forces me to put the person with whom I'm having a conversation first. Put others first, even in conversations. There's a few reasons why this is necessary, which are clearly outlined in a few proverbs listed below.
The Bible teaches us that excessive, long-winded-ness shows our folly and selfishness.
"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent."
- Proverbs 10:19
In other words, whoever cannot hold their tongue reveals their errant, blundering ways; but one who is careful and discerning is considered wise.
"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."
- Proverbs 13:3
Must I explain this one?
"Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent."
- Proverbs 17:27-28
This is one of my favorites! Have you ever had a "conversation" with someone who loves to talk? They talk and talk and talk and talk and you finally stop listening before you lose your marbles. (So so so sorry to anyone I've affected in this way.) This truth amazes me: the people who rarely speak are the one's that most people want to listen to; if they're talking, it must be important.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, after today there is one more topic to discuss in this series. I want to answer the question, What should be on our lips? In the mean time, go back and check out what should not be on our lips: