Just shut up!


The biggest EQ problem that many people, including "high flyers", have is when to stop talking.

There had been many occasions when I had to be the one to put a stop to a conversation where one or both parties were refusing to listen:
- An ex-colleague who bombarded me with questions was angrily interrupting me before I could even finish answering her any of questions. I asked her whether we were having a discussion or whether we should schedule another time to talk when she has calmed down.
- I asked a business associate to stop repeating gossip that was irrelevant to our discussion. He was irritated that I said that and then I suggested that we cut our discussion short because he was irritated at me.
- I asked my mother to stop talking about particular matters because we were both just going to end up in a big fight.
- I asked my ex-boyfriend to stop talking because we were just going around in circles, repeating the same issue and giving the same explanation.

But did they want to stop talking? No! It took some convincing to get them to stop.

It's easier to manage if they are only on the phone:
- When my teacher was yelling at me on the phone I removed my ear from the receiver till the volume died down and he had finished yelling.
- I had disconnected the call with an ex-colleague who was yelling at me on the phone.

Perhaps I had totally deserved to be scolded or yelled at but what I'm saying is: even when I'm totally unreceptive to their message, they still keep going at me. It's clear to me that if the conversation is allowed to continue, things would only get worse.

I've heard stories about people getting yelled at and humiliated by their bosses. I've even heard about friend's colleagues who had to be warded in the sanitarium and did not recover their mental health. I believe there is room to allow people to vent a little but not to the extent of allowing it to become abusive. If you encounter such situations, the best way is for you to remain calm and find a way out ASAP - even if it means walking away. Do be careful though. Some people can get violent. And - so help you - if you are the one who is talking and the other person in distressed, it's probably time for you to just shut up!

There has been times when I was the one who was saying things which the other person did not want to hear. The worst way in which I'd been told to stop talking was, "It's a beautiful day. Why must you spoil it by talking about such things?" Is there ever a good day to talk about something which the other party doesn't want to hear at all? I don't talk to these people anymore. If they think I'm spoiling theirs then they are free to leave or if they don't I'll be the one to leave. Nobody can spoil my day.

My point is: people will get offended when you tell them to shut up. Should you be afraid to offend them? If your life, well-being or money depend on them, you should be careful. Otherwise, go ahead and tell them to zip it.