Shut up and listen.  I seem to remember a quote I put on here about the wise man who listens.  I wish I could apply it to myself.  I do consider myself a good listener but paradoxically I often do not know when to shut up.

Cases in point:

I have an awkward moment in a friendship at the moment.  Well it may not be awkward, it may be all in my head.  (That’s something else I am good at: over-analysis, but we’ll leave that for another posting.)  Either way I need to shut up.  I keep trying to work out what I should have said or what I should say next time, but what I need to do is stay quiet, no matter how irritated I feel.  Giving a response just makes matters worse.

Nod and smile.

I also had a meeting the other day when I said too much.  Ironically one piece of advice the person I was talking to gave me, was to listen.  Let the other person talk, find their needs and weaknesses.  I also gave way to my bad habit of letting my feelings show on my face.  Sometimes I jumped in and interrupted because my mind does zap around.  And I was to quick to turn down an offer of help – another bad habit of mine: not wanting to put people to any trouble.  Good grief if they are offering me help – take it!  I also tend to verbalise  negatives – what I can’t do, or if I have a problem blocking me.  People don’t want to hear that.

Well, writing all that down here makes it sound ten times worse than it was, but I really do have to bear these things in mind.

Don’t explain, don’t complain.

Some of you may remember that?