The question I would like to discuss with you today is “Do I talk too much?” Chances are, at this point, you already see some signs within you that may imply the presence of too much talking behavior. However, you wonder whether it is something valid, or just a feeling. Fact is, it can be hard to know for sure. The ideal way to really know is, of course, to hear it right from the source, which is other people’s opinion. I know I talked a lot in previous times about not letting other people’s opinion dictate your life. But in the case of validating an overly talkative behavior, we can’t deny that this situation mostly affects the way people see you and not the way you see yourself. We are now talking about keeping harmony in our social life. And that’s why, people’s opinion plays an important role in being the source of truth. Unfortunately, this method might not always be feasible to every person in any situation. So, if you are lucky to have the chance and circumstances to ask directly, do it. But if this is not applicable in your case, this episode can help you in giving some examples of strong signs that you can actually see for yourself. When combined, these signs can suggest a strong case that the case of overtalking is valid for us.
The first sign that you need to watch out for, is what I call as questionable content quality. What does this mean? It means that the things you said, most of the time, have a rather questionable validity and credibility. Or to say it in a worser language, your words are BS. Not everyone hates talkative people, but everyone hates untrustworthy people. Even the mobs and drug lords want a trustworthy person. The thing about BS talking, usually they happen to revolve around delicate subjects involving someone else’s life, hence making it more susceptible towards deviation from the real truth. So of course, people naturally avoid someone who tends to promote this ugly habit. Luckily, this is a relatively easier one to fix. The solution is as simple as adding an extra BS filter to our mouths. Everytime we talk about something that involves another person’s life, especially the ones that are not even remotely involving our life, think twice on the validity of what we are about to say.
Moving on to the second sign. You don’t listen enough. Yes, as cliche as that sounds, being a sucky listener can further amplify the overtalking habit that we have. In the end, it is all about the balance between talking and listening. Even if you are known as a very talkative person, that won’t be much of a problem if you have also proven that you can be a good listener to your friends when they needed it. But when we don’t take the time to listen to others, everything that comes out of our mouth is much more likely to be perceived as self-centric. As if the only thing worthy of discussing in this world is the things happening in our life. Others, not so much. Unfortunately, being a bad listener is not something that is always noticeable by our own selves. Sometimes, because we are never trained to listen, “not listening” has become our default setting, that we do it unconsciously. But don’t worry, it also means that the way to fix it, is to simply put an extra effort to be more conscious. Communication is supposed to be a two way thing. So next time when you are having a conversation with someone, put a conscious effort to assess how long you usually let the other person talk and whether you have the unconscious tendency to cut down their turn. If you found it to be the case, put in another effort to shut your mouth and let the other person finish. But wait, that must be hard, right? Forcing ourselves to do that? Yes, it can be, if you are doing it just for the sake of doing it. But it is actually not that hard if you try to really listen to the story the person is saying and be genuinely interested in it. That is one aspect of what we know as active listening. But that’s a whole other story for another episode. As starters, force yourself to listen. Fake it until you make it.
Lastly, see whether you can spot consistent rejection signals from others. Now you might think: “Yeah, of course, that’s pretty straightforward. You don’t think I’ve thought of that before?” Well, I do believe you might already have thought of that, but I’m not talking about rejection signals that you get when you are talking. That is definitely the first thing you need to look at. But even more, keep an eye on rejections that come even when you haven’t started talking yet. Even though this sign is not unique to overtalking only, it primarily suggests something unlikeable within you. Once you witnessed this happening to you, then overtalking has not only made people dislike listening to you, but it has also made you unbearable to them. There is a thin but major difference between these two situations. However, when you have already reached the second situation, then your case has to be pretty severe. Therefore, be sensitive with the signs and make an active change towards it, before it gets way worse and finally took you to reach that level. Think of these signals as yellow and red lights on a crossroad. Know when the signs tell you that you need to gradually slow down or even completely stop.
So, do you think you need to take it down a notch? I would love to hear what you think! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, connect with me through my website in LifeForExperts.com, my Twitter in @lifeforexperts, or my Instagram in @lifeforexpert without the letter “s” at the end.
Thank you for trusting Life For Experts. Never stop learning to become an expert in life. I’m Dannis, and I will see you next time. Bye!