This is a good one. I had to re-post it…Shut Da’ Fuck Up!
Having been brought up in older times far from today, I can recall being taught to “only speak when spoken to.” Then there was, “some things are best left unsaid or how about, there is a time and place for everything and the most familiar, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Who started this shit anyways? Now, I consider myself respectful, but c’mon on now, really? You mean to tell me that if someone is speaking to me in a way I consider to be disrespectful or derogatory, I shouldn’t say anything until the moment they are done. By which time, I may not even feel worthy enough to speak against them or what was said. Here, contradiction intervenes. In a prior statement made on a different platform, I mentioned on the topic of effective communication, how allowing others to finish speaking before interjecting or responding makes for a good flow of conversing. Yes, this is part of learning to communicate effectively; however like most situations in life, there is a very fine line that distinguishes one thing from another.
Truth is, I am a talker, a motor-mouth and an animated speaker. These are a few of the labels, I was groomed to wear. Why? Because this is what I recall others saying about me. Others constantly labeling me, not realizing the harm it may cause.
Balance is crucial. I even remember the moment; I lost my confidence in what I wanted to say. It was a highly, debatable topic. (No need to specify) The conversation was intense. I was accused of contradicting myself. I briefly thought to myself how, how did I contradict myself? I knew what I was talking about. Shit, the conversation was about a situation I was in. Here’s the thing, I didn’t really understand what the word contradiction meant. I thought of it as a negative word, indicating a person not knowing what they were talking about or lying. At the time, I interpreted the word to be in the same class as hypocrite. No way was I trying to be a hypocrite, no way was I trying to contradict myself. I was simply presenting my case and responding in accordance. It was a great talk; however, it made me feel a way. A way that stuck to me like glue, I never said it stopped me from talking completely but I definitely didn’t speak up for myself in regard to future matters. When I found out the true meaning of contradiction, (long after that conversation) I realized it was okay. I presented my perspective at that time. The point isn’t whether or not I contradicted myself; what matters is learning to choose my words carefully when speaking with others. There is indeed a difference between speaking with and speaking to others. Listening is very important. Speaking with gives you more time to listen; while speaking to doesn’t allow much listening time, therefore, feedback is pretty useful at times. (Sometimes it may not be)
So, in this particular lesson, I’ve learned when and when not to shut ‘da fuck up. We must be careful when it comes to our communication with others and with ourselves. I understand how life can be so overwhelming; too much shit to beware of. At times, there’s too much (negative) shit going on to worry about. No one wants to walk around paranoid, rite? And it may be a bit annoying to always see the sunny side (positivity) in everything.
Reflecting back to that particular conversation has allowed me to gain a sense of confidence in what I say and when I say it. Did I overreact by questioning myself? Maybe. There was no way of knowing the result of that before hand. It’s like that with lots of circumstances in my life. You just don’t know.
(Another lesson of not knowing everything)
What I do know is the more I continue to learn, the more confidence I am regaining in regards to speaking with people. My mentors are teaching me about things that for so long I thought I knew. The more I am learning just when to shut up, I am learning that listening can be the most important part of a conversation. It has allowed me to gain an understanding of the different perspectives we have in the world. I wonder how much we as a society could accomplish towards better days if we just learn effective (non-violent) ways of communicating. Modern day style.
For one, we all can learn a thing or two from each other, even if it turns out not fully understood in that moment. Asking questions can sometimes aid in gaining a clearer understanding. Not all of us learn on the same level or in the same capacity. I have learned to take responsibility for my own part in what I am learning. Some of you may agree that we learn things from each other all the time, everyday, (Youtubers, social media pros, television, blogging, books, etc.) on a variety of levels. Again, there is a redundancy going on here. On purpose, I have to keep telling myself things of a positive nature just to gain a balance. I can only speak for myself in saying, my life has indeed been filled with many situations, others may or may not have agreed with or understood. It’s life you guys, learning and learning to listen and sometimes staying away from what some may be teaching. This is one of the most valuable life lessons I am learning. There are times when I just need to shut da’ fuck up, but then there may be times when I should speak up.
Has anyone else ever felt voiceless?