For some people, talking will be something they enjoy doing and this will be balanced out by their ability to listen. But there will also be people who are good at either talking or listening and yet, they will fall down when it comes to the other option. This is going to mean that they are out of balance.
If someone always talks and doesn’t listen, they are going to be perceived in a certain way by others. This could mean that other people admire their ability to communicate, and it could also mean that other people see them as being self centred.
And if this related to someone who always listened to others, they are going to be seen differently. Other people could view them as being shy or quiet, or they could be seen as being a great listening.
Now, it is clear that one needs to be able to express themselves, and at the same time, they also need to be able to listen to others. What one needs to do will all depend on the situation and the affect they want to have.
To simply say that listening is better than talking would be inaccurate, as it will all depend on the context. It would be like using a hammer to cut down a tree; the hammer is a great tool, when it is used for the right job.
To get the most out of the hammer, one would need to find a job that used nails for instance. And in order to cut the tree down, they would need some kind of saw. So when it comes to listening or talking, one will need to use their intelligence to decide what the best option is in any given moment.
But while making a decision, either consciously or unconsciously, as to what the best option is will be the ideal, there will be some people who are completely out of touch with how another person is responding.
Talking will then be something they do regardless of whether it is appropriate or not. This can be what is normal to them and how they have been for most of their life. One may not even realise how this is affecting their relationships with other people.
It then means that they get to say what they want and to express their views, but at the same time, it causes other people to feel ignored. And while one has the need to be heard, so does everyone else.
If someone is talked over or not even given the chance to talk, it is highly unlikely that they will feel important, respected or valued for instance. And if one feels this way around someone, it is inevitably going to lead to a negative impression being formed.
In order to make a good impression on others, one is going to have to put their needs to one side at times. And if one is always used to talking, it will mean that they will have to cut back on what they can say. But while one will lose someone on one side, they will also be gaining something on the other.
Other people are going to feel important when they are listened to; especially if they are used to other people talking over them or having no interest in what they have to say. And when one takes the time to do this, there is the chance that other people will be more likely to listen to what they have to say.
So through talking, one has the chance to express themselves. However, if all they do is talk, they will miss out on what other people have to say. And this means their ability to learn new things and to therefore expand their mind, is going to be severely affected.
When one talks to another, it can allow them to feel validated and this can enable them to integrate certain things into their mind. And this is important, but at the same time, what they are talking about is nothing new; all they are doing is repeating what is going on in their mind.
By letting another person talk, one is being given the chance to learn something they haven’t learnt before and therefore expand their mind in the process. As the other person is opening themselves up, it will also allow them to feel more connected.
What one finds out about another person can then be used in the future to start a conversation and with this, the relationship can grow. And as John C. Maxwell once said - ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’’.
So one could talk to another person about what they know, but unless they are willing to listen to what they have to say, it won’t matter.
If one is used to talking all the time, they might find it hard to listen at first. And not only to listen, but to really take in what is being said without being consumed by what they are going to say next.
When something has been done for a long time, it is going to feel strange when one does something else. But over time, listening will be something that feels normal.
Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."
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