No really, stop talking. A lesson in social graces.

Maybe I’m just feeling cranky, but while attending a business luncheon, I watched as an obnoxious braggart businessman inserted himself numerous times at the microphone, taking command of the room unnecessarily.

Not because he was brilliant or funny or full of wisdom, he just thought he was.

Most of us have come across these individuals.  People who interrupt when someone else is speaking, clearly of the mindset that they are the center of the universe.

As as a young person, I was quite shy, often finding it difficult to raise my hand without turning every conceivable hue of red.  It took a great deal of courage to offer my opinion.

Those who know me as an adult are now shouting, “WHAT?”  That’s right people, I was not always the confident, outspoken person I am today.

One of the benefits of aging is developing a bit of self-confidence.  I can hold my own when it comes to regaling stories in a room full of people.  But I don’t consider myself to be obnoxious or rude.  Perhaps because my parents taught me that sometimes it is as important to listen as it is to be heard.

So it got me to thinking.

The loudest person in the room is not necessarily the person who needs to be heard.  Profoundly insightful of me, don’t you think?

But just give it some thought for a moment.  Consider those who are quieter or shy in nature.  How daunting it must be to speak up when the room is full of big personalities or worse, an obnoxious baboon like the one I witnessed.

Sometimes we just need to sit down & shut the h*#l up  allow other people to have the spotlight.

Whether we are shy in nature or happy to be the center of attention, this I know for sure. We all want to be heard & valued.  We all have experiences & stories to share.

So my point is this.  Regardless of how funny you think you are or how much knowledge you think you have to share, some times you just need to zip it & let someone else shine.

Stop talking & just listen.  You may learn a thing or two.  Unless of course you already think you know it all!

So go ahead, have your say.  I’m listening.  No really, I am!



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34 Responses to No really, stop talking. A lesson in social graces.

  1. Uncle Spike says:

    Great post.
    I am most humbled when I take the time to watch and listen to others. Have you seen the film about Stephen Hawking, ‘The Theory of Everything’? I have watched it many times these past few weeks and makes me realise a) how little I know, and b) how the quietest man on the planet has the most to say that actually matters.

    • Lynn says:

      Thanks Spike! I think we would all benefit immensely if we spent more time listening rather than talking.

      The Theory of Everything was one of my favourite movies this season. What an interesting observation on your part. You are so right, his mind & his ability to move beyond each & every challenge he faced, is nothing short of remarkable.

      One of the things that struck me was how much charisma he possesses, despite his physical limitations.

      Appreciate you popping &offering your 2 cents!

      • Uncle Spike says:

        A truly remarkable man; still working now in his 70s and takes part in programmes like the Big Bang Theory and everything 🙂

        I thought Felicity Jones as his first wife was outstanding too; what a beautiful person.

      • Lynn says:

        He is indeed Spike. What an incredible life he has led.

        A couple of other films I enjoyed recently to share with you. Hector & the Search for Happiness. It is a quirky little film with a great message.
        Pride is also worth a watch – set in 1984, it is the story of a London based gay & lesbian group who lend their support to striking coal miners in South Wales.

        Cheers my friend!

      • Uncle Spike says:

        I watched Pride last night (again)… definitely similar tastes then to ours. How about The Imitation Game? Will check out Hector…

      • Lynn says:

        Yes, watched that one on the weekend. Fantastic!

  2. pieterk515 says:

    Ok. I’m sorry. I’ll zip it…*kidding!* There’s no way I’m zipping this mouth of mine…It’s simply impossible to do. The Wife has been trying for almost 20 years.

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    Well said Lynn. I cringed at the description of the luncheon. As an extreme extrovert I have to be very careful not to talk too much. Always good to have a reminder. 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      LOL…Sue I laughed so hard when I read your comment for I too, could be described as an extrovert. Add a little animation to the mix & I know there have been times when I have taken over a room! Why? Because I am just that funny!

      What struck me about this person at the luncheon was how inappropriate it was that he just kept popping up. Randomly.

      I think the difference lies in your ability to know when to let someone else have the floor. I think some call it manners! I might be going out on a limb, but I suspect you have them my friend:)

      • Sue Slaght says:

        I hope so Lynn. I’ve gotten better at it over time. I do a fair amount of public speaking and it is a fine balance between entertaining an audience and driving them mad. 🙂

  4. Glen MacDonald says:

    Just as my dad told me, you learn far more by listening than by talking – including who it’s not worth listening to! 😉

  5. joannesisco says:

    Oh Lynn – this is such a great post! I’ve lived this reality my working career. I have a very soft voice and I’m generally a person who is comfortable not saying anything if I don’t have something relevent to say. But I can tell you that in the boardroom with a group of loud, Type A personalities, it was REALLY hard to hold my own. More than a few times, my ideas and observations were credited to our VP Sales simply because he actually bothered to hear what I said and then repeated it – almost verbatim – in his own loud, overbearing voice.
    On behalf of all the quiet, unheard people out there, thanks. I love this post!

    • Lynn says:

      Well that VP just has ASS written all over him!

      Your voice may be soft Joanne, but I hear you loud & clear. I am so glad to have met you here in our blogosphere world, sharing perspectives & learning through each other’s writings. Keep speaking my friend! I promise to know when to zip it!

      • joannesisco says:

        LOL! Well thank you !! 🙂

        I guess that’s why so many introverts gravitate to writing. It makes expression of thoughts and opinions – without interruption – so much easier!! 🙂

  6. LB says:

    Great post! and so true … Too bad you can’t share this with the person who kept interrupting that day!

  7. Awesome, Lynn! Listening is an undervalued skill and Twitter as well as various social media isn’t helping the cause. It takes grace to listen well, something I need to work on 🙂

  8. Lynn says:

    You are so right Lisa. I think we could all benefit from spending more time on our listening skills. I so appreciate your comment:)

  9. Jimbo says:

    Ha Ha Lynn I’m glad the person you wrote about was holding a mic or I may have thought you were talking about me . Hhhmmm maybe the mic thing is to throw me off lol. Sometimes its little man syndrome as well. If it is me Lynn I’m listening

    • Lynn says:

      You are absolutely not the person I was referring to! Although come to think of it, you do like to put on a show! KIDDING my friend! You made me laugh so hard when I read this comment!

  10. Coming East says:

    Your post also makes me think of those quiet people who maybe need to be drawn out. They might have things they would like to say, but are too shy to break into a conversation. If someone asked their opinion, they would feel valued. Great post!

  11. Cecilia says:

    You just said it, that’s it, we all just want to be esteemed

  12. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I have absolutely nothing to say. I listened, though!

  13. Deb says:

    Yikes! I struggle with being an interrupter (although definitely NOT when someone is presenting formally!)…coming from a family of loud chatty Irish/Italians who have a tendency to all talk at once, it’s what I grew up with. It was not until I met my very mannerly British-raised husband (who was I am sure, horrified, at his first family dinner!) that I realized the way my family interacted wasn’t always “the norm” for anyone whop wasn’t, well, us. I agree with you fully…no one should be a conversation hog. I find myself now constantly monitoring and reminding myself to slow down, wait, and enjoy the conversation, even when I am bursting at the seams to add something, or to commiserate with the person speaking. And it is so much more rewarding to do so. On those regrettable occasions when my mouth does override my brain…I do apologize and stop, to allow the speaker to continue. It’s just the right thing to do because nothing disrespects a friend or colleague more than making them feel like what they have to say isn’t worth waiting for!

  14. Lynn says:

    LOL, I am smiling reading your comment Deb! Irish & Italian? Well that is definitely a combination that has conversation in the genes! I am picturing the first time you sat at your husband’s family dinner table. I am certain they must have been choking in their tea!

    Trust me when I say, I too, can take over a room, but it really struck me this day, watching this person, how incredibly rude he was. I do think there is a balance. When everyone in the room is rolling their eyes each time one opens their mouth, it is perhaps time to zip it and let someone else speak!

    Thanks for the giggle!

    • Deb says:

      Well, thankfully, Michael had already given me the heads-up that his mom was “very proper British” about manners, so I went to the first dinner with his family willing myself to just not speak unless spoken to, and it all went well (*phew*). He DID come away however from the first visit with the Howard clan, realizing that (a) you will ALWAYS be offered a sandwich regardless of the time of day and (b) if you wanted to “get a word in edgewise” you had to just jump in! Michal’s parents were the most loving and accepting in-laws a girl could ask for…but definitely a lot quieter than MY band of crazies. Our rehearsal dinner was…interesting. LOL!

      • Lynn says:

        Well that explains why he hung around, despite never being able to get a word in. A sandwich offered at any time of day, is more than any man could wish for! So funny!

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