Mom, Can You Live Without Words?
I hate to admit this but I used to talk more than I listened. Ok, I still struggle with this issue but I’ve gotten much better. Most of what I’ve said that’s gotten me in trouble has been innocent in nature but has come across as malicious or mean. I’m reminded of the 30 Rock episode when Liz Lemon goes to her high school reunion and assumes everyone will still be mean to her just to find out she was the “mean” girl.
Here’s some of the things that has gotten me in trouble:
1. I once said something inappropriate to a priest. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that God has stamped my forehead with “Do Not Return”. Before you judge me, I am Catholic and I thought I had to correct him about something.
2. I complimented my husband’s co-worker about his lovely daughter (she was his wife). This was misconstrued as me being catty or a “hater”. Seriously, why would I envy her for marry an older man? Check with me when you’re 50 and he’s 70 and we’ll see who’s really a hater.
3. I asked a woman about her due date just to find out she wasn’t pregnant.
I’ve tried to blame these and other “foot in the mouth” incidents on everything from “mommy brain” to wine. The truth is I was probably half paying attention to the situation or what the person was saying to me. I also used to be so uncomfortable with silence that I felt compelled to fill the void with talking.
I am much better now and I make sure that I give people my full attention but most importantly, I’ve learned to appreciate silence. I’ve learned to value communication by speaking less and being an active listener. I’m teaching my sons the importance of listening more and speaking less and I continue to do my best to be an example.
Do you have an experience to share about talking too much? Enter the Shut Your Mouth video contest for a chance to win $1,000.
Also check out the movie A Thousand Words with Eddie Murphy and Kerry Washington, which opens in theatres, March 9th. I plan to see the movie because I think I can relate to learning how to stop talking to truly communicate.
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