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Why Are You Talking?

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The problem is not that people fail to think about what they say. It’s that people fail to think about why they say it.

It’s easy to focus on the what or how, but If you don’t know why you’re talking, your how will be lifeless at best and destructive at worst.

Why are you talking?

Is it to sell a product?
Is it to seek an explanation?
Is it to make a point?
Is it to be heard?
Is it to inspire someone to action?
Is it to make someone think?
Is it to start a fight?
Is it to get a release of emotion?
Is it to send a signal of virtue or intelligence?
Is it to intimidate?
It it to express protest?
Is it to keep the conversation alive?
Is it to make someone like you?
Is it to build your brand?
Is it to improve your talking abilities?
Is it to experience the joy of self-expression?
Is it to make someone say they’re sorry?
Is it to utter a prayer?
Is it to gain attention?
Is it to make attention go away?

Communication is a creative act. When you speak, it’s because you’re trying to create an internal or external response.

What are you trying to create?

Answer that before you worry about when and how to create it.

P.S. The question “Why are you talking?” shouldn’t be read as “What gives you the right to open your mouth and speak?” You already have the right to speak. The meaning here is “What is the underlying intention that drives you to speak?” It’s an invitation to think about reasons, not rights.

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