I have been a chatterbox since infancy. My mother swears that my first sentence ever was, “Mommy, we have to get the tricycle repaired.” Since then, I’ve been learning the art of how to stop talking someone’s ear off.
1. BASK IN SILENCE: “Awkward silence” can be transformed into meditative bliss if you breathe and practice being comfortable with it. It gives your brain a break and allows you to bathe in the magnificence of the other person.
2. SPEAK SLOWLY: Your thoughts will slow down, and like MAGIC, the truly IMPORTANT WORDS will float to the surface.
3. “WHY AM I TALKING?” (Remember it with this acronym: WAIT!) It will help you tune into what benefits your listener.
4. WITHHOLD UNSOLICITED ADVICE: My mind naturally creates ideas that theoretically could help someone, but not everyone is interested in receiving them. If you stop suggesting, others will no longer feel pressured to defend why they aren’t going to use your suggestions. This lets the relationship FLOW so much more
5. STOP DEFENDING: The next time someone suggests something to YOU, just say, “Hm,” or “THAT’S a thought.” You don’t have to explain your choices or commit to anything.
6. SHORTEN YOUR STORYTELLING: Telling someone every single detail can totally overwhelm your audience. When I was growing up, telling stories was used more frequently as entertainment. Nowadays mobile devices can provide endless fun, so long stories aren’t as exciting.
7. STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR LISTENER: Notice their body language. Are they genuinely intrigued by what you are saying?
Remember, we are all evolving at our own pace, and there is no right or wrong way to talk to someone. Just do what sticks, and embrace your inner chatterbox (Literally! Give yourself a hug!).