A friend asked me to elaborate a little on this subject. The rule of thumb is keeping attention on the acronym W.A.I.T or Why am I Talking? Once I learned this little editing process it has become more of my nature to listen more and talk less. Honestly I don’t mind talking less.
I am often surprised at how much of my Thoughtstream, sometimes referred to as mind, rises with thoughts that I would never share withe others. Those random thoughts and images about people, places, events, and things that come up outside of all standards. I have no idea why these ragged images appear but sometimes they feel like pure venting. An emotional outlet.
Noticing that led me to wonder how much of what comes out of my mouth, although somewhat edited, really needs to be shared? Not the sharing I would do with intimate friends but when having conversations in general. What do I say that actually adds to the content and context of conversations and how much is opinion, ego boosting “I know this” statements, statements from conclusions, and just conditioned gossiping? Since I hardly ever prepare any statements I suspected a lot gets out that isn’t edited or monitored. I know this is true from past experiences in socializing when I would be going home after being with friends with the thought, “Why did I say that?” appearing.
W.A.I.T also pointed to the times when I just wanted to fill in gaps for attention. That’s hard to admit but I noticed that many times I just wanted to make comments that would gain attention from others. The content wasn’t particularly useful except to show off what I think I know. What I think I know is a much smaller content than what I don’t know.
One of my friends suggested keeping that W.A.I.T acronym in attention. And before making statements, particularly tied to emotional statements, as myself why am I driven to make this statement. It sounds like it would be take a lot of time or get in the way of conversations but it doesn’t. I listen more and find that others appreciate being heard, and don’t particularly miss my additional opinions or thoughts on a subject.
If you try this and it seems to work I would love to hear about the process and what you have noticed. Pass this along if you find it valuable.
Take care of you,