Friday, October 30, 2015

Keeping quieter

I have found there are folk who talk a lot.   This is their personality.  Who knows why some of us talk more than others but that's the way it is.  I'm running an experiment on how my introverted personality can better handle talking.  

It has occurred to me that one of the reasons I start to inwardly squirm at 'much great talking' is that the talker is usually not gifted at listening and what I share in the exchange is easily lost or misunderstood which leads to me choosing between explaining or correcting or smiling and waving.  So I have decided to put the brakes on with these interchanges and focus on what the other person is talking about for the sake of comfort.  Since it is already a given that we tick in different ways, sucking in my need to tell my own tales does help me as I have an overt need to be understood.  I.....don'  In love for the other person I can keep my trap shut and listen.  

All of these exchanges stem from a need to be heard and understood.  What the extrovert probably doesn't understand is that the introvert takes longer to say what is on their mind.   So why should I exacerbate the struggle by badly needing to be heard.  Why not just save vignettes for other conversations.  Perhaps it's not true of all introverts but this introvert is simply less stressed by keeping things inside in idle conversation.  Idle conversation can be such a time of discomfort that running this experiment seems worth the effort.

Hopefully I can remember this technique for more than a week so it becomes more of my mold and have less of a struggle.


  1. "Need to be understood." YES. I never thought of it that way. When I get talking, I talk too much because I want to make sure that I'm understood correctly. And you're right -- I guess that's not necessarily important.

    The thing I can't figure out is what happens to other quiet people when the introverts like me don't befriend them. When I see some people looking forlorn and alone,* I want to approach them and welcome them. But it's uncomfortable to do that. And I don't want to be the person blabbering at someone else.

    But this is the opposite of the problem you're having, where you're not-talking to a person who's too busy talking to listen to you.

    *Footnote: Yes, I know not everyone who's alone is unhappy about it. But some are looking depressed and left out and need to be warmly received into a group.

  2. Yeah, I think that is a different topic. I kind of feel like approaching someone I suspect of suffering from depression, the same way I approach someone who has lost a loved one. You want to be normal for them without drawing attention to the struggle. Having been on that side of the fence, I personally am trying to keep my distance as talking can be pretty painful. Another blogpost for another time.

  3. I'm one of those people who talk way too much. I'm sorry for not being a better listener. I tend to babble on when there's a moment of silence (which for me is uncomfortable. . . did I offend ? Is that why he/she stopped talking? Oh, no! What should I say? and on and on and on).

  4. We all have different personalities. There is a difference between talking a lot and not allowing for give and take. I think that is what I'm referring to the most. Perhaps every one of us as quiet or talkers can take a closer look at how much we talk vs listening. I am personally struggling with many invisible things and to be fair, I might make people anxious and I'm not even aware of it. When there is no give and take, I still want to try harder not to care if the other person takes an interest in what I might say. This is a lot harder in practice than I idealize.