“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, simply surrounded by assholes.”

So the quote is at the top today.  I hope it is not too offensive for my gentler readers but I find it pretty funny.

As I have mentioned in the past, I love to talk and I can be quite a loud person when I get going.  In fact, my surname before I married the amazing Tloml meant in English that you cannot kill the mouth.  Most of my friends find this supremely amusing as I am the personification of this fact.  You just cannot shut me down…sometimes.

Occasionally, I find myself thinking about the effect I have on people.  There is generally a feeling that as I end up saying such a lot, I do not always give other people the time to express themselves and also how much listening am I really doing amongst all the talking?  There are a lot of proverbs out there about how the one that talks too much is a fool and the wise person is more likely to listen rather than speak incessantly.  Well, epic ‘fail’ then for me (as Tloml would say, He enjoys reading something called a fail blog, I must find the link – supposed to be pretty amusing!)

I am one of those that spends time analysing conversations I have had with people, time spent with them etc.  And I would like to think that on most occasions, I leave them feeling a little happier than before they met with me but I know this is not always the case.  I still remember a few years ago, very forcefully telling a teenager my opinion, over and over again, about the ‘feed the world’ campaign and refusing to listen to her viewpoint at all.  In the end, she got so upset and started to cry – A definite epic fail!!  I would like to think I would never do that again. After all, what makes my opinion that important, really?  And in the grand scheme of things, speaking my mind cannot be as important as maintaining relationships with people I call friends. Overall, I would like to think I am a happy sort of person and I know there have been more times when I have encouraged people with my words – at least I hope there have been.  Of course, I cannot remember those times as much as I can remember the fails.

We live and we learn!

One of the things I have done to improve my communication skills, is continually read books like [amazon_link id=”0091906814″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]‘How to make friends and influence people’[/amazon_link].  There are so many principles in some of these books that can be applied to everyday situations, even at home with the children or Tloml.  I wish I could say I get it right all the time but hey…

The one thing I know is that the ability to get along with people is crucial – It smooths the way through life.  I have always enjoyed my friends and aspire to increase their numbers, but in order to do this, I have to become even more the kind of person, people want to be around.

I am definitely working on that.  What of you?  How do you get on with others?

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.  ~Douglas Pagels

 

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