I am realizing this week that I probably talk about 50% more than I need to.
It all started about two weeks ago, when The Viking and I were headed over to throw in a neighboring town. He is a good road trip partner: easy to talk to, wide ranging conversation, and actual listening occurring. At one point he said "You know, for the fact that we have been friends for at least 4 years, I know almost nothing about your wife or your kids."
That is odd, I thought. I did not think of myself as avoiding talking about them. I filed it away.
This week, I have had the opposite problem at work. It feels like I am talking too much at work. I am not sure why - yes, you have to speak to others to exchange some level of information. What I found, as I considered it, was that I tended to go beyond that. There is a certain amount of conversation I have to do (in my own eyes, anyway) to keep the lines of communication open. The problem, it seemed to me, was that sometimes I tend to make conversation because I do not really want to hurry back to my desk to get on the ever growing pile of items that need my attention.
And then last night came the final consideration: that moment where you think you said something clever, everyone acted as if you said something clever, but you end up with this slightly unsettled feeling in your stomach - "Was that really as funny as I think" you wonder, "or was I just on the edge of being annoying or not funny?"
Which, on the whole, makes me think that I am just talking a lot more than I need to be.
Partially, it probably needs to be properly segregated. Talk about work, at work. Talk about not-work, at not-work. Do not mix the two.
And on the whole, say less than you have to. Some of that (my wife and children) is probably instinctive from years of keeping my life separate at some level. But I need to work on separating them out more.
There are places and times and relationships for conversation. The problem seems to be that I confuse what and when those are. And certainly, I seem to be pushing the line on where it is all about me and where it becomes unfortunate.
From the Spartans we have inherited the word laconic, which suggests a short, pithy statement rather than a long conversation. For myself anyway, it might not be a bad things to keep in mind.