We all do it. You’re having a conversation and hear something that triggers a memory. You’re just burnin’ to butt in because you have something very very important to say. I’ve done it a million times because, after all, this brain’s got a million words in it. But I’m trying to break the habit of letting them all out spill out.
The balance between listening and talking can be delicate. One thing’s for sure, though, we can’t talk and listen at the same time. And listening more has benefits, like hearing something that will resonate and be the seeds of a new friendship. Or learning a new perspective that changes your own life for the better. “I never thought of it that way.” Ideally, listening more to them means they’ll do the same for you, and there’s nothing like that feeling of being heard… and especially understood. Such a relief.
I pay a lot of attention to conversation because a good exchange of ideas is the best. And you can tell, when they’re interested, eyes are mostly on you and heads sometimes nod in understanding. When they’re not, eyes drift around the room, fidgeting starts, occasional yawns are suppressed.
You know that silence that comes sometimes in conversation? When a few seconds seem like forever? It was hard at first, but I’ve waited out those seconds and discovered that some people just need time to gather their thoughts. When given the chance, they pick up and continue. Getting comfortable with the silence avoids filling in that gap with chitter chatter. Keeps the conversation real.
I’m convinced that jumping in with an “urgent” contribution is a habit that can be toyed with. Note to self: rest upper lip on lower lip more often. In other words SHUT UP.
Do you ever feel like no one’s really listening to you? Are you ever just waiting for “your turn”?