On one side, human beings have the ability to talk, and on the other, they have the ability to listen. And as they have two ears and only one mouth, it could be said that it is a lot easier for them to listen.
However, even though it is easier for someone to listen, it doesn’t mean that this is what will take place. They may be able to listen from time to time, or they may find that they are the ones who are always talking.
In the words of the Greek philosopher Epictetus – ‘we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.' This was someone who was born in 55 AD, and this shows that people have realised how important it is to listen for many, many years.
But even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that it is easy for someone to give their mouth a rest and to let their ears do all the work. They can feel compelled to talk and their ears are not going to have anything to do.
When someone wants to express themselves, it will be important for them to talk. This is the only way other people are going to find out about them, and if they were to only listen, they are going to be out of balance.
Other people may see them as quiet, or they may come to the conclusion they are trying to hide something. Therefore, it can be a lot harder for people to get to know them, and to connect to them, if they rarely say anything.
Getting To Know Others
However, if they don’t talk much, it will give them a greater chance of getting to know other people. They are not going to be focused on having other people find out about them, and this will allow them to be present.
This is partly because people want to be heard, and when they come across someone who wants to listen, they may be drawn to them. And the more one listens to them, the more the other person may appreciate them.
If one was to judge what the other person was saying, either verbally or non-verbally, it is likely to have a negative effect on the relationship. Yet, if they are able to listen without having the need to let the other know whether they agree or disagree with what is being said, the other person is likely to be able to trust them.
When they feel as though they can tell them anything, they are going to want to make sure that they remain part of their life. And at the same time, it will be important for them to be interested in what the other person has to say.
Give and Take
Unless the other person is willing to listen when they talk, the relationship is going to end up being out of balance. One may end up feeling as though their needs are not important, and they may come to the conclusion that the other person only cares about themselves.
So while they may find it easy to listen in the beginning; this may begin to change as time passes. And if one doesn’t speak up about what is happening, they can end up feeling like a doormat.
When someone finds it easy to talk to others, there is a strong chance that they will know plenty of people, and they might even be described as ‘popular’. Other people might even learn a lot from them, however, this can all depend on the kind of things they talk about.
There is not going to be much chance of these people being labelled as quiet, and this will give the people around them the chance to give their mouth a rest and to use their ears. What is likely to have an impact on whether other people see them in a positive light is if they also have the ability to use their ears.
Out of Balance
If they do, this will stop them from being seen as though they don’t care about what other people have to say. As a result of this, not only will the people around them hear what they are saying, they will also want to listen.
When this isn’t the case, their inability to listen to others is going to make it hard for them to learn about others. The people around them can also end up feeling as though they don’t exist.
It is not going to be possible for someone to always be in balance with this, but it is possible for them to talk and to listen. There will be times where they will listen more than they talk and vice versa, and this why they will need to be comfortable with both.
If someone has trouble talking, they may believe that other people won’t listen to them if they talk. And if they find it hard to stop talking and to listen to others, they may believe that they will be ignored if they stop talking.
Through taking the time to reflect on why they are the way they are, it will be possible for them to take the steps they need to take to be able to talk and listen. In order for them to feel comfortable with both, they may need to seek external assistance.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.