Mandatory Disclaimer: This is just my personal take on some of the passages and may or may not pull from academic sources. In other words, this is just my interpretation of things. Take it or leave it.
“O Pale One who came forth Heliopolis, I have not babbled.” -transl. R.O. Faulkner
I’ve been pretty quiet this past week. Some of it has to do with getting stuff together for the etsy store I run. This quietness, however, is not necessarily an uneasy one. I just haven’t had the time to write as I wanted due to getting some projects together in addition to the work on the etsy store. I’ve felt compelled to write, and I didn’t know about what. As I read through the negative confessions I found this one.
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog regularly knows I have a language disorder called cluttering. One of the biggest problems with this disorder is trying to express myself in a concise manner. This leads to a lot of unnecessary talk. Despite my lack of word economy I seem to convey my point well enough, but I fear that I’m not always successful. That’s when my insecurities arise.
There are ways that I can get around this, and sometimes they help. I won’t go entirely into my methods because overall it’s irrelevant to the topic. What is relevant is how sometimes I still babble not because of the disorder but because I’m human. Sometimes we want to fill the silence because of our assumptions, such as silence used to express disapproval. This is where learning body language and situations help me. Sometimes the other person feels I may have said something rhetorical. Sometimes they feel I may not have said everything I need to say and are waiting for me to finish. In that case it’s consistent with a passage from the Maxims of Ptahhotep:
If you are a leader, be pleased when you hear the speech of a petitioner; do not rebuff him until
his belly is emptied of what he planned / to tell you; the victim of wrong prefers the venting of
his feelings to the performance of that for which he has come…
While I disagree that people would prefer to air their grievances rather than remedy them it does convey the point how sometimes people need to “let it out”. When they’re clearly done and need a response, give it. Honestly, this is another area where I still trip up; I either give a response that’s too cool or inappropriate in some other manner. I know, though, part of the reason this occurs is because I misread a cue or because I misread the person’s intentions. My current remedy for this is to live, learn, and get to know the person a bit better.
Apart from getting to know people to curb my need to respond inappropriately this skill also teaches me when to listen. It teaches me to listen to the person’s context as well as content. It taught me when to ignore them because they’re waxing poetics or talking (or writing) without substance. I also learned incessant talk also brings with it gossip, and these days I have little time for rumors. I still stumble in these areas, but since I’m aware of my tendencies I can learn from them. I can avoid people who gossip or prattle on about esoteric things. I can avoid most places where that type of conversation occurs. I don’t need to read tabloids or about the latest celebrity breakup since most of that has no bearing on my life.
The relevance of one’s words to another person is probably one of the keys of avoiding babbling. I don’t need to waste my time or another person’s time with something that doesn’t interest them. If they find my company overall to be undesirable I can go where I’m welcome. I don’t need to incessantly speak to someone who will most likely never approve of me. I’ll save my words for the time and company for which it’s appropriate.