Admittedly, I am about a week late to writing my monthly blog or recording a video and I have no idea what to say. Then I thought about all of the times in life when we aren't sure what to say. It seems like there's been a lot of those situations recently...those times when words won't do the situation justice, when words won't or can't make things right, when words are just said to fill the silence. I suppose as we age we all find ourselves in more of those situations. I wanted to share three rules of thumb when you find yourself in a spot in which you don't know what to say.
1) Be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be treated? What would you like to be said? Don't judge, do not assume or jump to conclusions and only offer your opinion if they ask for it. It's not about you...it's about them. Show them you care and be genuine.
2) Be quiet. This is a hard one for human beings to do sometimes. Being quiet is especially important when the conversation is emotional or if you find yourself judging, making inappropriate comments, assuming and jumping to conclusions. Don't just talk to fill the silence. It's often better to say nothing than to talk just to talk. Not everyone needs to know our opinion all of the time on every topic.
3) Be a good listener. This is an even more difficult task than being quiet for human beings (just ask my wife). Remember just because we are quiet doesn't mean we're being a good listener. Our minds go off to la la land as the person in front of us is talking. Be an active listener. Make eye contact and don't interrupt. If you need to reply do so in an appropriate manner without judgement or opinion.
I must say, I have a lot of improvement to do in this area. I'll be quiet now.