The older I become, the more I realize I need to keep my mouth closed. Shutting up really can change your life.
I started talking in full sentences at 9 months (not even kidding, you can ask my Mother about this….) and I haven’t stopped a whole lot since. I love to talk. To the lady who is checking me out at the local grocery store, to the person taking my movie ticket, to my best friends, and of course to my dogs…there are probably very few circumstances where I am not saying something. That is until a few months ago.
One night, in the midst of a deep conversation with my best friend, we decided to shut up. It all really began more so as a joke, but as we started talking about not talking and we realized we should actually do this. Now, the term “shut up” in itself is not very nice at all, so I am not condoning such behavior. However, that happens to be what we say to each other ALL THE TIME.
I quickly find myself over-talking (surprise, surprise), and my bestie shoots me a glance and very seriously will say “Shut up.” THANK GOD because otherwise I would be digging myself into a please-stop-talking-before-you-ruin-it moment.
So we shut up. Now, I think it is time for you to shut up, too. And I mean that with sincere respect.
Words are powerful. WHAT we say, and HOW we say it, well it matters a whole bunch. But what you don’t say matters even more. The absence of an opinion, of trying to redirect the conversation to YOUR intentions, of interrupting so you could share your thought from the conversation that began 5 whole minutes ago….these things are dangerous little monsters. They seep into your mind, making you think your thoughts are superior, and they have the potential to completely ruin the flow of conversation, demolish inspiration, and result in an empty conversation.
This little theory is not limited to the “self-entitled millennial.” Now, I will admit that there is a lot of self-entitlement floating around our culture, but there is just as much within every age group. We all want to BE HEARD. When someone genuinely listens to what you have to say, well that my friends is better than Tom Ford or “popping molly.” Seriously. Being truly heard by another human is the best feeling out there. It validates you as a being, it has the power to create inspiration, and it is invaluable on every level.
Now, in essence of this idea, I will keep this short and sweet. I challenge you to shut up. I challenge you to give the gift of being “all ears”. Every single one of my friends who has decided to shut up has reported back to me with nothing but positivity. Listening is the most powerful tool there is. The more you listen, the more you will breed inspiration. The better communicator you will be. And, best of all, you will establish a deeper intimacy with the people you love the most.
So, shut up.