I love the acronym WAIT, which stands for “why am I talking?” I try my best to use this approach as a filter when determining whether what I want to share is necessary and beneficial or if it’s an all about me moment. Of course sometimes I can’t help it and want to have the stage, but I’d like to think I do it sometimes and not all the time. I think WAIT is effective when used in tandem with knowing your audience. In other words, it’s important to know who’s at the table and whether the subject you want to talk about is appropriate and relevant. For example, as I enter into the mommy world soon, I have to be mindful of who I want to share my thoughts and experiences with. If I’m hanging out with gals who are predominantly single or married without children, then I am mindful of not monopolizing the conversation with baby talk. I know people will be polite, and that’s kind of them, but I think it’s our responsibility to be selfless and aware as well. I will admit that when people do not exercise WAIT or apply the knowing your audience approach, I tend to not look forward to conversing with that person or when doing so, do not share much because it always diverts back to the subject they want to focus on and is most relevant to them. I do think there’s a happy balance. One solution if you’re not sure if the other person wants to talk about something that you may think is irrelevant to them or they may not care, is to simply ask them: “I want to be mindful of the topic of our conversation. Do you want me to continue or move on?” People appreciate that and hopefully will tell you the truth. As well, you can also notice their body language, which would be telling of their engagement in the conversation (ie. their eyes wander, their answers are brief, they’re not smiling, etc.). So I encourage you to WAIT and to know your audience!
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