Have you ever been invited out to a nice dinner only to find that one person at the table talks non-stop? Have you ever been to a meeting and you have something important to say but can’t get a word in because one person dominates the discussion? How many times have you stood at the grocery store to count out change to the clerk and the person behind you interrupts you? Then, you have to start with your count all over again.
When my niece, Lori-Anne, was 4 she loved to talk. I would often come over to have morning coffee with her mom. She was constant chatter about anything and everything. I was so desperate to get some conversation in with her Mom I once offered her a quarter to keep quiet.
She was too young to understand that her constant chatter was not always welcome. All I wanted was a few minutes to visit with her mother without interruption. After all, I had something important to say.
I realize that I too am guilty of being overly talkative. Many times I rush into a room and simply start talking without recognizing that I was the interruption. I also know I can dominate the conversation at the dinner table or in a group meeting.
Unfortunately, when I do this, I miss out. I am not focused on listening. I fail to find out what people need or how I can help. Relationships are a two-way street. They are a dialogue NOT a monologue. When I think of my true friends, they are the people who listen to me and make me feel valued and heard.
The next time you are tempted to rush into a room with your most important story on why traffic was so bad, take a step back and pause. Find out what is going on with others first. You will have time to share your story later. You will be valued and appreciated all the more.
“ The word listen contains the same letters as silent”