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After I Read This, I Started to Speak Less and Listen More…

After I Read This, I Started to Speak Less and Listen More…

We’ve been blessed with a very precious gift, my friends: the gift of talking. The gift of language. The gift of being able to express our feelings, emotions, ideas or plans into something called words. But, alas, as with every gift, overusing it may lead to unexpected results.

Speaking and listening in a balanced way are imperative in our world. The noise of useless words that many of us are throwing away in an attempt to get a grip on someone else’s attention, creates a thick fog that makes it really difficult to actually understand each other. Ironically, the more we talk, the less we’re able to communicate.

Read on about these 6 benefits of speaking less and listening more and improve the way you communicate with the world.

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Think Before You Speak

So obvious, yet so underused. Under the impulse of “taking the stage,” of speaking before the other one could make his moves, we often open our mouth without really knowing what we’re going to say. Sometimes we improvise and it may turn out right.  But most of the time, we’re just shouting randomly about a topic, without any quality contribution to the conversation. The result: no one really listen to us.

Take a deep breathe before you respond, no matter how “urgent” the answer may look. Think for a while. Keep in mind the thought that you really have has many options, not just one. Ponder and your answer will not only be well thought out but people will be more apt to listen.

Listen Before Jumping To Conclusions

Again, the “need for speed” of our current world often forces us to simplify our interactions, to the point where they become useless. Based on just a few words, or a few sentences, we often create a perspective on some thing or some person, which may simply be inaccurate because we didn’t take the time to actually listen.

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Really listening means not only giving to the other the time to finish his speech, but also the exercise of “borrowing” his perspective.  Listening means to actually  see things from their point of view.

Limit Yourself To What’s Important

The infamous “information overload” created by the internet revolution is not about the quantity of the information available out there. But merely about the relevance of that information. Every time you update your Facebook timeline, or you publish a blog post, or you simply open your mouth to say something, you’re adding up to this fog. Have you ever tried to contemplate if what you’re going to say is really that important? Sometimes, silence really IS golden..

Too often, the reason is that we’re talking is simply just to hear our voices, no matter if we do this out loud, by writing emails or updating our Twitter. Imagine how silent it would be out there if we could just limit ourselves only to what’s really important.

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Get To Know Others Better

And that means doing things together, not only talking about things together. Getting up from the couch and do a short team jog, watching the sunset together, silently, playing a game, or having a meal. All these are actions that, apart from the main benefit of enjoying life, have also a secondary, very important outcome: they help you understand other people better.

Create A Better Reality

When you speak less, you do more. It’s obvious. Your focus switches from talking to doing. While talking and expressing your feelings is important, ‘doing’ is equally important. If you could refrain yourself from talking for 5 minutes a day, in a month you will have gained 30 days x 5 minutes = 150 minutes, 2 and a half hours for yourself. What would you do with this time?

Whatever you want, of course. You can go to the gym, cook for your spouse, craft something in the garage, coach someone, help a neighbor, you name it. As long as your goal is to make the world a better place, doing will always beat speaking.

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Write More

It’s still a form of expressing yourself, but it has a few perks. If you write, you’re more accountable. Written words last more than spoken words. Also, you will clear your mind without the help of somebody else. Writing in a journal or blogging, as long as you follow the number one rule of this list, (“think before you do it”).

And when you’re writing, something very interesting will happen: you will be forced to “listen” to yourself. You will be exposed to your own thoughts and emotions. You will get to know yourself better. Or, to be more precise, you will start to discover who you are.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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