Reflection

There are often times when I wonder what I would tell a younger version of myself. I think about all the things that would help me have the upper hand, all the beauty tips that would make me prettier, all the food I shouldn’t be eating, all the courage I should fake towards bullies, all the times that I shouldn’t have shut my mouth and more importantly, all the times I should.  

As I think about this question more and more, one word sticks out, more and more.
This one word of advice gives you a powerful key in the world, it gives you the upper hand, educates you, makes you prettier, healthier, stronger, hands you top secret information and enters you into a secret underground world of truth into the minds of others.
What is this magical word?
LISTEN!
Yes, listen. It really is that simple. Think about it, yes especially the ‘mouth almighty’s’ out there, what good does non-stop talking do? What do you learn about others? What help do you give others? What other view can you gain if all that is being heard are YOUR opinions, YOUR beliefs, YOUR point of views or YOUR secret recipes? 
None.  
What friend can seek solace in opening up to you about their troubles and worries if you won’t let them finish a sentence!
What knowledge can you gain against your enemies if you constantly lay out a blueprint to your mind instead?
What can you learn if all you do is repeat what you have learned so far?
What respect can you gain if others feel that their say isn’t important around you?
Listen. Listen and learn.  
Stop interrupting. Stop picking up your phone when someone is talking to you. Stop listening only to wait for your turn to speak. Stop going on and on and on!
Now before I go any further, I would like to admit that I am quite the chatterbox, I always want to give my opinion or help someone with advice from knowledge I have gained. However, I have learnt to listen. I have learnt to activate a switch in my head and send a signal that says ‘shhhhh, just listen, forget what you are bursting to say and REALLY LISTEN.  
If you want people to actually listen to you then you have to give people respect and value what they have to say too.  
I learn a lot about people by listening. I learn who they are in between their words. I learn their strength in between their sorrows, I learn their weaknesses in between their excuses, I learn their compassion in between their fussing. I get to see some extraordinary qualities that I would miss if I did not shut my trap for once and pay attention (N.B. Paying attention is the most important part). I would also miss some ignorant qualities, some qualities that make me realise that that person is not who I held them to be. Most importantly I get to know someone, I get to walk in their shoes and learn their stories. Good or bad I’m grateful that they want to share them with me and I’m grateful that I paid attention and listened to them.
Thanks for listening pride!

SILENCE CAN REALLY BE GOLDEN

Have you ever noticed that some people love to talk? Have you ever noticed that for every sentence you speak about yourself the person you talk to replies with a sentence about themselves. That sometimes it turns into – You: ‘I bought the nicest pair of shoes yesterday.’ Friend: ‘I bought a great handbag!’ You: ‘Oh did you where from?’……..HANG ON, WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAM SHOES?????? Sometimes people listen just for the sake of their reply. Well you know what, just listen to them. They obviously want to hear their voice so much, so let them do the talking. You can do the listening. Listening is the part where you get to learn and observe a lot about that person. You can learn about them AND you can learn about yourself. Look for similarities, do you like all of the things you have in common with that person? What kind of person are they really? Who are they in your life? When you have a problem does that person TELL you what is best for you or do they actually try to explain different ways to tackle a problem taking into consideration who YOU are? Some people just need to be heard and they are not the kind of people who can offer you any personal advice or actually listen to you. It is best to let these people speak. Often they raise their voice over yours because they don’t feel like they are listened to in their life, or they want to show you that they too have good or nice things in their life. So listen. They need it at that time obviously. If it continues then maybe it is best to address the issue with them because it is important that they value your words too, but, if it is not 100% necessary at the time just sit back and observe. It is far more educational than you could ever imagine!