If your mouth is flapping all the time, you’re going to miss it. Do you really want every up-close shot of you looking like it belongs in a porno mag? Your job today is to stop catching flies and start catching life. It’s passing you by, you know.
Are you one of those people who talks more when you’re nervous? I’ll say this is in the top 10 reasons that first date didn’t equal a second. The reason you lost the deal. You have yet to subscribe to the school of thought that less is more.
As a writer, it’s finding the delicate balance between purple prose and perfunctory journalism. I feel that balance rests in two things: relevance and timing.
If you’re busy yapping, you’re not listening to the conversation. If everyone found your voice as beautiful as you do, then statues would be erected in your honor and you’d either be a talk show host or leader of a small third world nation.
But they don’t. And you’re not. So how do you use your mouth to get from where you are to where you want to be?
Use it less.
Here are three tips for your week to help you shut up and listen up:
- Count to Ten. The next time you want to say something while someone is talking, count to ten and keep your mouth closed. Yes, your idea is sparkling with goddamn brilliance and will probably change the world. If it’s as brilliant as you think it is, it’ll be around as soon as your friend/partner/colleague is done saying what they have to say. And who knows: if you listen instead of interrupt, you just might hear them say something that makes your idea even more brilliant.
- Write it Down. Afraid that moment of sparkling goddamn brilliance is going to be lost like Paul Kinsey’s “big idea” on Mad Men? Write the fucker down. What happens is actually pretty funny: you can write it down, move on and keep listening for more seeds that will spawn more sparkling goddamn brilliant ideas.
- Let it Go. Sometimes your moments of sparkling goddamn brilliance…aren’t so sparkling. What seems like a good idea in the heat of conversation is really just a little hamster poop pellet. A brain fart. Completely forgettable. How about you skip being rude, let someone else speak for a change, write it down and count to ten.
Let’s face it: Honest Abe had it right when he said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” You can change what people think of you, but not the words you’ve let spill from your lips. We all say dumb things, interrupt and fuck up perfectly good business deals and conversations by overselling and not knowing when to say when. I’ll finish this up by letting you know that we, with our sparkling goddamn brilliant ideas, are in good company. Here’s a list of people who should have shut up…but didn’t.
Ten Famous People Who Should Have Shut Up
“I don’t diet. I just don’t eat as much as I’d like to.” ~Linda Evangelista
“Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is ten, or something.” ~Dennis Rodman
“I would like to live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were ever supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.” ~Miss Alabama (my home state- w00t!) 1994
“I feel my best when I’m happy.” ~Winona Ryder
“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” ~President George W. Bush
“Deals work best when each side gets something it wants from the other.” ~Donald Trump
“Life is indeed precious, and I believe the death penalty helps affirm this fact.” ~Mayor Ed Koch
“If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very low crime rate.” ~Mayor Marion Barry
“Solutions are not the answer.” ~President Richard M. Nixon
“Whenever I watch TV and I see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I would love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.” ~Mariah Carey
Did you miss last week’s Bitch Slap? Click here to read Stop It – Right Fucking Now.