If I let other people talk without interfering, could I learn something about them? Could I learn something about myself? For one week I kept my mouth shut. This is what I’ve learned..
Only Replying To Text
I found myself checking my phone frequently. I felt like I was failing my friends. They weren’t receiving a daily update on my life. It felt wrong at first but after a while I was able to put my phone away for longer and receiving an unexpected text was way better than an expected one.
Listening vs. Relating
I think we all have a tendency to relate to a topic with a similar experience. I believe we do this so the other person knows that there are not alone in how they feel. Or more selfishly, we might be trying to make it all relate back to something about us. I realized that no two experiences are the same. Relating takes away from the original story and not allowing the other person get their point across. Instead of jumping into a topic, I listen now.
Holding Back Advice
It’s really tough to see someone struggle. My first instinct is to always help with providing the best possible advice that I could offer. But this week, I didn’t help. I also didn’t let anyone drown. I instead asked questions to help the other person come to their own conclusion. Unless someone is desperate for an answer and has exhausted all of their options, I think its best to let them figure out their own lives.
Leaning On Myself
When I felt alone, or when I was unsure of something I’d reach out with a text. I convinced myself that I was performing an act of kindness with a random text “hello.” The real reason was actually more selfish “please someone say hello to me, i’m in my own head again!” This was a slightly harder habit to break, but after a while I came to good conclusions on my own without texting my frustrations and then waiting for affirmation. It felt good to be able to handle my own issues. It helped with my confidence. Now when I text “Hello” I’m able to do so with no emotional strings attached.
Celebrating Myself, Alone
I caught myself a couple of times about to text an accomplishment of mine. “I did a thing!” Instead of telling someone, I sat with the accomplishment. I praised myself for it for a while and then I moved on. I’ve learned that boasting about every small accomplishment can come off as needy. It can also take away from your confidence. As much as it can be nice to share some good things about yourself, there is a time for when it’s appropiate and that time is when you’re asked “So what’s been new with you?”
Overall, texting is the devil. Joking, but too much of something can cloud what’s really important. Taking a step back not only helped me realize how to better communicate with others, but also how to better myself.