Monday, July 28, 2014

Motivational Monday


THE MOST IMPORTANT WORDS
WE WILL EVER UTTER 
ARE THOSE WORDS WE SAY 
TO OURSELVES,
ABOUT OURSELVES,
WHEN WE ARE BY OURSELVES.
(Al Walker)

Have you ever spent an extended period of time with people who don't ask you anything about yourself? Or, when you bring up a topic of conversation, they twist it to be about them or they change the subject to something they want to talk about?

It's exhausting, and it can mess with your head.

I'm more of a listener than a talker, and I'm good with that. But after awhile, I feel like all I am is a receptacle for other people's words - for their rants, their complaints, their interests, their experiences. My words find no friendly ear, find no home - they fall flat on the table or on the rug, flopping around like dying fish. I want to stand up and shout, "I am a person! I matter, too!"

But then I start to wonder. Maybe it's me. After all, I've seen the same people who don't ask me one question about myself hold actual conversations with others. It's probably me. I'm not interesting enough or smart enough or funny enough. I'm doing something wrong. I'm social awkward. I'm....

And before I know it, my confidence has left the building.

All because of the words I said to myself. 

Let's not put too much emphasis on the conversations we have with others, on the words they say - or don't say - to us. It's the talks we have with ourselves that are crucial to our well-being and to saving our creativity, our self-worth, our sanity. 

36 comments:

  1. I'm a listener and I find most people don't ask questions - they are too busy doing the talking.

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    1. I like listening, and I enjoy asking questions and hearing the answers, but a conversation is - and should be - more than a one way street.

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  2. As a rule, we are much harsher on ourselves than we would ever be to others. I had a colleague once who loved to talk about herself, and would almost brush off my input to continue her monologue - it was very tiring!

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    1. I've read/heard that we should talk to ourselves the way we would talk to our best friend - lovingly, kindly, firmly but not nastily. I wonder why we don't often do that...?

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  3. I've noticed that a LOT. People don't listen. Actually one of the keys to being liked as a person is to ask other people about themselves and listen to what they say. My husband is in sales and he does that ALL the time. I've gotten my nails done at the same place three times. Each time, I was there 1.5 hours (gel/nail art, so it took a while). She did not ONCE ask what I do for a living, if I'm married, etc. It was all about her. I found that interesting because if I worked in that field, one of the most interesting things would be learning about people's lives. It's amazing how enriching listening can be.

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    1. I bet your husband learns all kinds of interesting things by asking questions and listening to the responses. Definitely something the nail tech should learn to do!

      I'm finding that more people tend to talk "at" each other and not "to" each other.

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  4. I talk to myself all the time! (Wait, was that the topic?) It depends on the company as to when I'm a listener and when I'm a talker. In groups, I'm a listener. But one-on-one with my husband, I tend to be the talker. That's lucky for me, because I have an outlet.

    Unfortunately, I find myself talking about myself in comments a lot of the time. I think of it as relating to the content. Do you think that gets tiring for the blogger running the blog we're commenting on? I might have to rethink my commenting strategy.

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    1. I'm definitely more of the talker with my husband, too. :)

      I think commenting on posts is a whole different animal than face-to-face, one-on-one conversations. Not that you can't have a conversation of sorts through posts and commenting but it would be different. I think of commenting as relating to and/or responding to a post.

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  5. I'm very sensitive to people being left out of interaction in group settings. Must be the teacher in me. There are a lot of people so wrapped up in themselves they don't see or hear anyone but themselves.

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    1. Good for you for being sensitive to those being left out! I bet you bring them right into the conversation somehow. :)

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  6. I'm more of a listener too. Probably because I'm shy or feel that what I have to say isn't as important, but I really enjoy learning people's behaviors through what they say. I appreciate the reminder that we can hurt ourselves through our own words, just as we can build ourselves by being kind to us. Great post! :D

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    1. It's a good reminder - one I need daily! And I like what you said about using our own words not to hurt ourselves but to build ourselves up. :)

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  7. Oh so well written, and so true. I have a friend who does that to me. I know it but I'm not going to fight it because she does have a real heart and I know she cares for me. I just limit my time with her, or choose when it will work for me. And just because of this blog post, I'm going to give myself some positive affirmations today.

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    1. Limiting your time with people like that is a great idea, especially if you can't or don't want to cut them out of your life. And I so hope your positive affirmations worked for you today and continue to work for you every day. :)

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  8. This is a fantastic quote. It's so true. Our thoughts about ourselves are extremely important. They shape who we are and what we do. Thanks so much for sharing this. I love it! And.. I needed it :)

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  9. I'm more of a listener too. But I shouldn't listen to myself because I have that same problem where I blame myself and lose confidence.

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  10. This was an excellent reminder! I'm more of a talker by nature and remind myself on a regular basis that I need to ask questions and then shut up and listen. I love the look on someone's face when they recognize that you're listening—not thinking about what you're going to say next, not talking over them, not tuning out, but really listening. It's an encouraging reinforcement that listening is the right thing to do.

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    1. I love that look, too! I love to wear it, but I love seeing it on someone else's face as well. :)

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  11. True! I know I say the most damaging things to myself. Things I would never dream of saying to someone else. I'm wonder how much progress I'd make if I were as nice to myself as other people?

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    1. I bet we'd make a lot more progress and be a whole lot happier doing it.

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  12. Great post! Your other respondents have said it all!

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  13. Sometimes, those people can be energy vampires. They just make everything about THEM.

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  14. I'm always impressed when I meet a good conversationalist. Most people talk at you and don't understand turn taking. A really good two way conversation in which both people are listening and responding to each other is a truly wonderful thing. You are right too, Madeline about the power of self talk.

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    1. It really is a wonderful thing! And I'm still working on that positive self-talk because it really is that powerful and that important.

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  15. Patterning. I think when we first meet people we establish an expected give and take. I bet if you volunteered a fact or two about yourself related to what they're talking about, they would probably ask a question. It might take some practice, but relationships are nothing if not constantly changing. =)

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    1. Well, I have tried that in the past but you're right about relationships and people constantly changing. You never know. :)

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  16. You're so right. I have a friend who makes it "all about her" to the extent that I feel like my own thoughts and feelings and interests are completely unimportant. Thanks for the reminder to take the focus off the friend and put it back where it belongs.

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    1. This friend sounds like someone you might want to spend less time with, if possible.

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  17. As a rule, I don't like to really talk about myself, especially if it's a group setting. But I have a knack of drawing the ones who feel left out, into the conversation.
    One-on-one? I find it easier to share, though I won't reveal too much... it also depends on the nature of the relationship, whether it's a close friend/acquaintance...
    But I AM a good listener.

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    1. Being a good listener is an excellent quality to have. :)

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  18. I came over here to congratulation you on a successful month of writing and submitting. After reading this post, I have to thank you, too! I needed to read exactly what you wrote here. I appreciate the reminder. I hope I remember it as I work my way through August. Wishing you the best.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! And you'll do great in August. :)

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