I am a talker.
I always have been. I used to talk so much that when I was younger that my mother would literally have to ask me to let her exercise in peace for 30 minutes and then promise the rest of the evening was mine to talk about whatever I wanted to. Sad right?
Well as I advanced in school and started taking discussion based questions I started to realize that you don’t really always have to have something to say. Sometimes it’s fine to just not share everything that’s on your mind. Particularly since I was never one to want to stay a minute longer in a classroom than necessary, I always despised the people that over shared or had a question right at the end of class.
But we all know those people who DO believe that they should share everything in their head with the world. There are certain people who I’ve come across that believed it a little too hard when someone told them at some point in their life that their opinion and their voice mattered. And I am in no way saying that people’s voice don’t matter. I’m saying that not EVERY opinion matters. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t.
It’s like when someone posts a long Facebook status about how Donald Sterling isn’t the only racist NBA owner…
And I must admit that I’ve probably been that person at some point in time. Contributing a bit too much, saying more than needed, speaking over folks who probably had better stuff to say, but as I grow older and more conscious of the power of my voice and the weight it can sometimes carry I’ve become more conscientious about what I say and when I say it in public forums. But sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re the person who’s sharing too much and using their voice a little too loudly so this post is for you and here are a few tips on how to use your voice a little more wisely!
Is this REALLY something that needs to be said?
So there is plenty of time before one lends their voice to the greater conversation for her to think about what she’s going to say and how she’s going to say it. Value this time, cherish this time and really mull over if what you are planning on saying is something that needs to be said.
Ask yourself these simple questions:
Will the lives of the people listening to me be changed for the better because of what of I say?
Do the people listening to me actually care about what I’m saying?
If I were the people listening to me would I actively listen or pull up twitter on my phone?
If the answer to any of these questions are no [or in the last case pull up twitter on my phone] then you probably shouldn’t say what you were thinking about saying because no one cares and people just outchea tryna learn and enjoy their lives, not listen to you talk about how when you were in middle school, you too felt the struggle experienced by Jean Valjean in Les Mis and how that crafted you into the academic you are today and how that vaguely but not really connects to what we were talking about.
Am I talking over or potentially silencing someone else?
I’ve been in enough forums and discussion-based lectures to notice a certain class-dynamic pattern. There’s always ONE or TWO people who will answer ALL THE QUESTIONS and CONTRIBUTE ALL THE OPINIONS, then there are like 4-10 people who will contribute occasionally if the talkers are sick, or missing class, or the teacher has explicitly stated that they can’t talk anymore, and then there’s the rest of the class that are either too shy, too bored, too busy on facebook, or too unenthused about school in general to contribute anything. For those too shy, they may be intimidated by the talker and feel they have nothing to contribute because you, a talker, have pretty much said it all and even if you didn’t say it all, you’ll probably have something to say about what they’re saying and that might just be too much for them. If you have been talking ALL class you should probably open the floor up for others to contribute.
If you spend the entire time when some one else talking, thinking about what you’re about to say instead of listening to them well you probably need to calm down a bit and just take a break from contributing to the class. Because although it looks like everyone is nodding and agreeing with you what they’re really thinking inside their heads is:
I know you sound great to yourself but really people are tired of hearing your voice.
Has this been said already?
There’s this trend in public spaces where people feel the need to say something, ANYTHING even if that includes saying something that has been said already for the fifty-leventh time. Seriously if you start the phrase off with “just like Akbar said…” and then you proceed to say exactly what he just said in YOUR own way, then you LITERALLY have just repeated something that the world has already heard before. If you are expanding upon a previously stated thought and adding a nuanced interpretation of it well then great, go forward in what you are saying but otherwise:
Am I doing this to make people like me or make them think I’m funny/cool/interesting etc.?
Peer pressure is real y’all and every one wants to be liked. EVERYONE. If you say you don’t, well you’re lying because you may be so deep and cool and enlightened that “only God can judge you” and you “asked God to take away your enemies and you started losing friends” [or whatever the hell else y’all say in Instaquotes] but every one wants to be liked/loved/appreciated by somebody. I get it. And there are some of us who want to be liked a little bit more than others by our peers and we will use any opportunity to show people that we’re clever or cool or funny.
There is a time and place for such events and in the middle of this class or public discourse is not that time nor that place. It’s kinda like the class clown in middle school who would do anything for laughs even if it meant disrupting the teacher and/or other students and after the fifth “accidental falling out of chair” the rest of the class was just like:
So yeah, the same thing applies here. We don’t need you to prove to us how funny you are, by the dumb/pointless things you say in class. Honestly, if we’re in a public forum or college-level class we probably don’t care about your existence outside of this class, no shade, but you know you and your sense of humor are not that important to us.
Well that’s all I got friends. Any other ways that people can prevent themselves from being THE TALKER? Let me know in the comments section.
“So let me give you some advice. Leave these men alone! Let them go! If their plans and actions are only human, they will fail. But if their plans come from God, you won’t be able to stop these men. you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”-Acts 5:38-39