Ten Times We Should Just Shut Up and Listen

There are times I just need to shut up and listen. I experienced two of them yesterday.

  1. When someone else is talking. I guess this is the big one. I had prepared a great lesson for the folks at the Abbeville Nursing Home. The folks who are normally quiet, non-responsive, even comatose, just seemed to want to talk. I’d smile and let them talk and then try to get back to the lesson. It didn’t work. The lesson was on choices. I finally made the choice to shut up and listen. It was the right choice. When you are in a nursing home, no one listens. In fact, most of us feel that no one ever really listens. So when someone is talking, especially if they are normally quiet, give the greatest gift you have: just shut up and listen.

  2. When you are hurting. Yesterday was not a good day. It went down hill from the nursing home. At one point my daughter asked how things were and I made the mistake of answering honestly. I had just heard Joyce Meyers talking about not saying anything when we don’t have anything good to say. When we are hurting, we are likely to worry folks with our words. No matter what we are going through, someone is going through worse. Maybe that someone is the one we are unloading on. When our day sucks, we should just shut up and listen. What we hear might make us feel better.

There are several more times when we should shut up and listen.

  1. When someone is talking politics. Politics isn’t the answer. I think deep down we all know that. When someone starts babbling about politics, I have decided the best response is none. A smiling face and an occasional knowing nod is best. Otherwise, just shut up and listen.

  2. When someone is talking religion. Religion isn’t the answer either. I think fewer of us know that. Just listen. Not just to the speaker but to the Holy Spirit. If you need to say something, he’ll let you know. Otherwise just shut up and listen.

  3. When your wife is talking. This one is too obvious to need comment. Just shut up and listen. She’s smarter and has more vocal endurance. Even if you do talk, she’s not going to listen. Just shut up and listen.

  4. When you don’t know what to say. This one should be obvious. Why do we feel we have to say something, especially when we don’t know what to say. What are the chances we will say something great by accident? Let’s try just try shutting up and listening.

  5. When watching TV or a movie or playing on a computer, phone or iPad. This is a pet peeve. Why do some people talk to the screens in our lives? Talk about no one is listening. Just shut up, and watch or play and listen.

  6. When the boss is talking. Okay so he’s not as smart as he thinks he is but he still writes the check. Just shut up, listen and plan a career somewhere else.

  7. When a politician or preacher is talking. These people have hearing deficits. Don’t waste your time.

  8. When God is trying to talk. I shutter to think how much guidance I’ve missed by violating this one. Since God is always trying to get through to us, I guess we should always JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN.  The chances are better that I will learn something if I’m not talking. I am less likely to say something stupid if I’m not talking. I have almost no chance of offending if I’m quiet. There is already way to much talking in the world and not nearly enough listening.

Think I’ll just shut up now.

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