My colleague Susan Meyer posted a blog on a similar topic. I wanted to share her view with you so edited this to add a link to her blog and some comments. It seems as if many of us are observing or interacting with those who only hear their own voices and have a difficult time hearing their own silence. In being this way, they not only don't let the rest of the world in, but stop others from being heard as well. It gives a whole new meaning to the expression "Silence is golden" I wonder what that person experienced in order to have come up with that remark?
"When I became quiet, they could hear themselves" - Byron Katie
As a coach we not only have to ask the right questions to evoke awareness and answers but we have to give clients the space to think. In the physical sense, I ask clients "When do you get out, go for a walk, clear some space not to escape the world but to let the world in?"
This is the same in dialogue, having the mental space to let thoughts in, to formulate, think, create, just 'be' or hear yourself think as you bounce conversation of someone else. There's nothing like someone finishing your thoughts as if they could read your mind. I don't know about you, but clairvoyance isn't a common thing, though many people think they know exactly what it is you're going to say and don't hesitate to make that known. People like this are in a dialogue of the deaf. They're not hearing you; waiting for you to complete a thought or idea. They're taking half an idea and moving it in another direction and putting it in the "It's all about me" context. People like this validate something about themselves or their past, negating where you're coming from in the first place and absolutely not hearing you in any way shape or form. People like this feel who they are and what they have to say is more important. They don't care that they might be cutting you off, throwing a punch line into a story out of context, making you stop dead in your verbal tracks or even caring about what you might be thinking or feeling. It's about them….them speaking, being heard or having to validate everything you say based on their experiences, not yours.
I always wonder how insecure that person was in order to behave that way. Still, in the scheme of things, it doesn't matter really, as that's their way of being you have to deal with….or not. Choices come to play in cases like this. Do you really want to spend any time with someone who doesn't acknowledge you have a relevant thing to say outside the realm of their worlds? Are you in any kind of relationship where you come away from a conversation feeling frustrated, exhausted and ignored at the same time? Ask yourself why and when you figure out the answer, then figure out why you're still in it. You just might find your contact list shrinking but your energy and enthusiasm for everyone in your life growing in leaps and bounds.
*Note: In "The Emotionally Intelligent Coach" blog, my colleague Susan Meyer says "It seems to be true that the louder you get and the longer you talk and the more often you interrupt, the less likely you are to have anyone actually hear what you have to say. Silence adds a great deal to any conversation. Thoughtful reflection allows the time to digest the thoughts and ideas of your conversational partners and to add something of value."
Makes you think doesn't it?