Knowing When to Talk and When Not to Talk

So there is a particular reason why I haven’t posted anything new in the last few weeks: quite simply, I’ve been distracted. It’s the end of the semester and that typically results in me running short on time for things like blogging.

However, since I’m on the topic of…not talking, I also want to bring up a very simple and undeveloped thought: I don’t know when to talk and when to be silent. Plus, when I talk, I say weird things sometimes. Seriously, you can ask just about anyone who has met me and they’ll probably be able tell you about some odd thing I said. Maybe it’s a product of my off-the-wall sense of humor; maybe I’m just not very good at making conversation; or any number of other things. Point being, when I speak, I’m self-conscious about it, inordinately so. You probably wouldn’t know that, though. To people I meet, I probably seem like a social enough person. I’ve been told I smile lot and laugh too loud at people’s jokes, which I hardly consider bad things.

I am also painfully aware that my conversation sometimes conveys things that I don’t intend at all. Sometimes I sound arrogant. Sometimes I say things that can be totally misinterpreted, not realizing that a joke I make just to get laughs out of other people can be taken the wrong way.

If that isn’t enough, there are moments when I wonder if I am being too silent. I have something to say – sometimes it’s something that I even think needs to be said – but hold back. Why? Sometimes for good reasons, knowing that I have a propensity to talk too much if I don’t watch myself. Sometimes I just don’t want to upset the apple cart. Sometimes I worry that someone could take offense at something. Sometimes I just decide not to engage with someone thinking, “Nah, there’s no way they’ll give me the time of day for a conversation.”

I don’t really have a resolution to these thoughts. All I can think is that “there is a time for everything…a time to speak and a time to be silent” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7) and I still have so much to learn about where that line is.