For the love of God, stop explaining yourself.
There’s no need to provide so many details about your experience, your relationship, why you can’t make the party, or why you’re bailing on your morning workout.
I get you. I used to do this. A lot. Stick with me and I’ll teach you how to overcome this bad habit, step-by-step.
Time is money. And mental energy is finite. When you over-explain, you squander precious emotional and material powers, and waste someone else’s, too.
Talking too much is a boundaries issue.
It’s also an anxiety issue.
Anxious people have a strange relationship with the spoken word. On the one hand, talking gives you something to do, and somewhere to channel your nervous energy. On the other hand, words drive you crazy with regret after meetings, conversations, dates, and arguments. Listening to chatterboxes feels like emotional vomiting, plus people tune you out.
(Unless you have social anxiety. Then you beat yourself up for talking shit to yourself and avoiding conversations with others)
The good news is there’s always options in life.
However, before you find your Inner-Decisive you need to know why you do what you do.
Common Reasons You Over-Explain
- You weren’t allowed to express yourself growing up.
- You don’t trust that others will “get” your message (which really means you don’t trust yourself).
- You equate brevity with being curt and dismissive.
- You’re ambivalent about what you want.
- You can’t stand the word ‘no.’
How to Communicate Clearly
1. Breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply. Try the 4-4-4-: Inhale for a count of four; hold for a count of four; exhale for a count of four. Do this at least three times in succession, and before meeting with people or situations which make you anxious. Here’s 30-minutes of FREE calm to get you started.
2. Practice cutting words from your vernacular. A great way to trim the language fat is to spend time on Twitter. Check out how clever and clear conversations coexist inside this 140 characters parameter. Twitter is awesome, and so much more than just sharing your steel-cut oatmeal breakfast. While trolling, make sure to follow me, too!
3. Write short, punchy email messages. If you typically send five paragraph messages, cut it down to three. I promise, recipients will appreciate you. And if they don’t — pass along this post.
4. Take two beats before responding to someone when you’re caught off guard. You’re not competing in the Talking Olympics, so go slow.
5. Start believing you’re worthy of accolades, prizes, healthy relationships and luxuries. When you intrinsically value yourself, others will follow. If they don’t, it’s a sign to leave ‘em behind.
6. Tighten up your message. Instead of vague language like ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ tell us what you really mean. “Mind-blowingly awesome,” and “eye-scratchingly awful” stand out. “I’m having a bad day” could mean your cat needs cataract surgery, you have a killer ear ache, or you’re hungover.
7. Become BFF with ‘no.’ ‘Tis a beautiful word which is essential to every relationship. Here’s a most awesome boundaries tutorial.
8. Write it down. Preparation is crucial. Because your mind races when you’re stressed, relaying the main points of your message guarantees clarity, even if you still talk too damn much
In summary, slow down, breathe, befriend brevity, and focus on your two main points when communicating.
The beauty of brief is less talk means more action. And more calm, too! <–Tweet this!
How ’bout you?
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