The unlikely sin of self-indulgence: talkativeness. Certain individuals talk a great deal, others not so much. Over-speaking to an extent that the other person assumes the role of the sole listener is not only rude, but uncovers elements of narcissism. Have you ever been the subject of a relentless onslaught of expressions and words? A talking tidal wave of a human that turns your feelings of annoyance into pure amazement that this specimen just does not know when to shut up. It has reached a point in the past where I would switch off and conjure experiences of holding a large sea shell close to my ear just to fantasize about how quiet the seabed was.
On the contrary, you may be an individual who loves to divulge – going so far as to interrupt when the other person slides a word into the conversation, dare I call it that. Your ‘much talking’ may be construed as nervousness, self-importance or even lying – circumstances we’ve all been in.
When discussing themselves, people reserve 60% of the stage during conversation; much more on social media. The ultimate billboard for our prétentions, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have given voices to the Narkissos within us all – undoubtedly, social media has been nurturing and feeding the egos of the unsophoisticated masses since it’s inception.
The tongue, like many other muscles, can cause a great deal of damage. When the last of the great speakers has exacerbated all corners of banal conversation, they will steer the captain-less ship into the storm of gossip, impropriety, divulging of secrets and making jokes that, looking back, they wish they had never made. Before they know it, they are losing control as the dialogue encroaches upon the subject of politics and religion in the presence of a person whose only information they know is their alias. It’s as though the tongue is the mouthpiece of the devil, the sword in the hands of a madman and the Yin to their Yang. There is a reason why the ears of the saints are depicted as large and the mouths small in Orthodox iconographic literature.
In the presence of a client you should allow the individual to talk as much as possible during the agreed time and keep your information-giving to an absolute minimum. In the scenario where the other party chooses to keep quiet about their life but desires to know all the intricacies of yours, lead the conversation to small talk, and if the questions – once again – become personal, gently push the dialogue back on path.
Only tell people what they need, not what they want, to know.