You want to be heard? Then shut up.

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Just because you’re LOUD – doesn’t mean you’ll be heard.

I think we all wish most had learned this when they were younger – ‘cause we all did it, and as parents, experience it today. You’re on the phone – God forbid – paying attention to someone other than the small-fry – and the competition for attention…begins: “Hey Mom…mom…mommy! MOMMY!” Conversation interrupted.

In time…with patience and “disciplinary parental action,” small fry realizes that all his loudness really did was put him in punishment and piss off a parent. Not an affective technique at being heard. Not an affective technique at being understood and appreciated.

As adults, we can tell who had the ‘overly understanding Mommy’ who halted every aspect of her life at the whim of her offspring.

They’re the ones in meetings who don’t even acknowledge that someone’s interjecting a salient point. Instead, during the attempted brief interruption, they get louder, continuing on with their point until they’re satisfied…(and then you have to backtrack to introduce the point)

They’re the ones during conversation who always have a more interesting story, and though you haven’t finished your tome to the group…during a sip, a breath, or even a blink – they seize the opportunity to pipe up and start sharing their far more fascinating experience.

They’re the ones who people tolerate…because they have to.

But the truth is, when you’re on the other end of that personality…have you noticed that despite their wind-bagginess, you’re not paying attention to WHAT they’re saying at all? You’re too distracted by the 8-thousand pounds of narcissism that just fell on you.

In those situations – honestly – the most effective communication isn’t coming from Captain LOUD; the most affective communication is happening non-verbally, among those who have to tolerate this moron. Through eye-contact alone (not a word said)…everyone else is being heard, understood, and the message is clear: “This clown is LOUD, and annoying.”

To truly be heard – a lot of the time, you don’t have to say anything at all. Like the famous Keith Whitely song…

Or like that one kid…who loudly interrupted his mom every time she was on the phone…then quickly realized that, not only was the flyswatter was an affective and painful disciplinary weapon, during those moments he really didn’t have anything to say to Mom in the first place. Lesson learned, he lost the LOUD and replaced it with a simple hug….when she was on the phone.

More oft than not, you will be heard when you don’t have to put it into words.