Monday, March 5, 2012

Are you the Teller or the Listener?

I am definitely the listener.  I work with women who like to tell.  They "tell" about their family, their activities, their history and their day.  Tell, tell, tell.  Talk, talk, talk.  And I'm the designated listener.  I'm glad I'm a good listener.  Or I'm glad others THINK I'm a good listener.  Inside my head I'm usually counting how many names they drop or how many times they say "I".  It may not be that bad.  I don't mind listening.  I know how much it means when I'm talking to someone who is actually listening. I make sure to show respect.   I don't interrupt or add to the story or stir the pot or gossip.  I do NOT gossip.  Like my grandmother always said, "Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut".

Now sometimes this backfires.  Sometimes when I keep my mouth shut it makes the "teller" think I don't know anything.  And so they have to educate me.  Oh brother.

I have learned when it's advantageous to be assertive and tell it like it is.  I have also learned that silence is golden and sometimes by not saying anything you can say a whole lot.  And when I choose to remain silent, I'm always glad I did.  Yes, I'm always glad I did.

It's annoying to try to have a friendly conversation with someone who is constantly talking about themselves.  I've heard it said if you have to tell how great you are, you ain't that great.

And so I am ever the listener.  I don't mention things.  I don't bring things up.  I'm the encourager, the confidante and the believer.

So, are you a good listener?


  1. That's so me! I'm not being secretive, I just don't feel the need to spill every detail of my life into once place. So I sit and listen, and smile and nod, and since I work with my sister, sometimes at the end of the day she will mention to me she noticed the exact time I stopped listening to a coworker, but not to worry, no one else noticed, least of all the coworker.

  2. Patti, that is exactly me!! I have found that people like to talk . . . usually about themselves. I don't want to be one of those people, so I usually just listen. And people ALWAYS think they have to educate me because I'm too stupid to express opinions - - little do they know that they talk so much they don't give me any TIME to talk :)