Shut up

Shut up.

Yeah, that’s right. I said, shut up.

I have had about 5 or 6 of the most awkward conversations over the last 3 days. These conversations have not been with people I know. Actually, they have been with complete and utter strangers.  Don’t you just love that?

I mean, I came out of the womb with my mouth flapping. I could talk with a tree. Someone once told me I could flirt with a tree, and it would flirt back (I don’t know if that’s good or bad?) Anyway, my point is, I am a people person. There are all sorts of personality types. I just kind of fall into a category where I can pretty much make conversation with anyone. I am bubbly. It’s just me. That is something that if you don’t like about me,..then you should move on from being around me or my friend…because I am a people person, and I am not shy.

After having several people open up to me that were complete strangers, I started thinking, “What in the world would possibly make them want to share alllllll that with me?” I think it’s because I will listen. I may talk a lot. However, I feel like this is something I have grasped. I can listen.

One of my favorite quotes is by a deceased Ecuadorian missionary named Jim Elliot (I even keep it as a tag at the bottom of my email), “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I feel like I strive to do this. When I am at starbucks I try and actually listen to the answer the lady gives me when I ask how she is. Then I follow up and shut up. That is when you can actually learn about someone. When you shut up.

When you talk, there are natural lapses of about 5 second pauses that happen naturally every so often. Many times this is when the other person is waiting for a pause to jump in. Really, your brain is just processing the next step and needs that time. However, you are usually cut off, so the real thought behind the thought never comes to the surface. They say that for a person to really get to the root of whatever they are talking about there needs to be three of these natural pauses then by the fourth they should be done.

Experiment: Next time you are talking with someone. This might give you a brain aneurism (or maybe just me because I love to talk), wait for the three pauses. It might drive you crazy and make you want to jump in, but I bet you will learn something about the other person.

How can we love like Christ loved if we never shut up long enough to learn about others?

I find that it is easier for me to love another person when I understand them. I can at least see their point of view. Of course I can appreciate them after I have learned something about them or their background.


Just shut up.

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