Wednesday, December 23, 2009

once a talker, always a talker...

I swear I was born talking. Really. Anyone who knows me knows this. I can keep a conversation going for hours just by my pure will and willingness to engage in all sorts of topics. I find absolute delight in engaging a 'non-talker' in conversation... and I succeed just about every time.

I've always loved this about myself. Well, for the most part. There were times when I had wished I was more like the quiet, calm girls in my class - they seemed to have an aura about them that I could never emulate. I was always loud or talked too much and whatever aura I had dissipated all too quickly when I opened my mouth.

There is a problem with us 'talkers' though - we aren't very good listeners. I fully recognize this about myself and have had to work hard to be someone who engages completely in a conversation. And after years of practice, I have succeeded fairly well.

Notice how I said "fairly well" and not "perfectly well?" Yeah, that's the rub of the true self, where there is a 'ying' there must be a 'yang.' And improving the yang in me is a constant struggle.

This morning I opened up one of my current reads ("Eat, Love, Pray") and saw this:

I'm never going to be a wallflower, but that doesn't mean I can't take a serious look at my talking habits and alter some aspects for the better - working within my personality. Yes, I like talking, but perhaps I don't have to curse so much, and perhaps I don't always have to go for the cheap laugh, and maybe I don't need to talk about myself so constantly. Or here's a radical concept - maybe I can stop interrupting others when they are speaking. Because no matter how creatively I try to look at my habit of interrupting, I can't find another way to see it than this: "I believe that what I am saying is more important then what you are saying." And I can't find another way to see that than "I believe that I am more important than you." And that must end.
If there was ever a better description of me, I can't think of it. I truly don't like this about myself and find it ironic that not minutes later I opened the second book I'm reading and saw this:
While engaged in conversation, instead of immediately responding when someone speaks, we pause for a moment, relax our body and mind and notice what we are experiencing... by pausing and paying attention, we become acutely aware of our patterns of reaction.

I do believe the universe is trying to tell me something. And I'm listening. I just pray I will actually hear what it's saying and take it to heart.

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