When “The Talk” Is Wasted Energy

To Talk is Silver But Listening Is Golden

Have you ever tried to convince, win over, “constructively” criticize, or set someone straight? How about pleading your case, adamantly denying, justifying, or excusing your less-than-stellar behavior while condemning another’s?  Sure you have, we all have.   So, maybe the better question is how did you feel afterward?  Did you accomplish the thing you set out to do? Were those in attendance calmer, more centered, and happier than before “the talk?”  Was all that verbal passion worth the energy expended? Probably not. It’s likely no one was satisfied with the outcome

As a matter of fact, this type of verbal interaction feels more like engaging in mortal combat and leaves most people frustrated, angry, disappointed, or hurt.  Neither side walks away from “the talk” feeling tickled pink or pleased as punch.  And yet often we indulge in this noisy, stressful form of communication. 

Some will do so regularly, mostly under the guise of love or concern for another’s well-being. But why do we put ourselves and others through such torture? Is it because we’ve been conditioned to do so, taught to stand our ground and voice our opinions no matter what?  Did we pledge to never go

 quietly into the night until all those we are concerned about are on board with our agenda?

If You Talk All The Time, You Can Only Hear Yourself

After all, if we truly want to be understood, to influence or change another’s perception (for their own good) isn’t an unrelenting repetition of our thoughts and ideas the only way to get through to them?  Yes, that was sarcasm.  But doesn’t this technique seem eerily similar to those who operate under the constraints of coercion?  And no, I am not harassing or attempting to intimidate you.  Remember, you volunteered to listen to me speak!

But maybe there’s a better question to ask.  For instance, what’s in it for the ones doing all the tongue-twisting?  Maybe it’s the need to feel empowered or in control.  Perhaps the desire to help fix another is just too strong to ignore.

Or maybe it’s recognition or favor they are seeking because surely no sane person believes they can make another understand or feel about things exactly the way they do. Awareness, understanding, and feelings are solely under the individual’s control. 

Aside from the benign reasons most chronic talkers give for engaging others in the way that they do, there is usually a different underlying one.  Some will be quite obvious.  Others, we may never know.

Listening - Talking = Enlightenment

So, to bring my talk to a close, I’ll end on this note.  Governing the tongue is more beneficial than allowing it free reign to cause more harm than good. At the least, you may simply bore the listener. But in a worst-case scenario, you may kill a relationship. Doing what is best for self means extending the same courtesy to others. How can we exercise our free will while obstructing the free will of another? How and when others think, relate, or understand is not something you can talk them into.   Well, I’m so glad we had this talk!  Aren’t you? ~ Yvonne L. Jones


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