This post is one I'm copying from my Bubblews account. There are some references to someone else's post(s) on Bubblews, and I'll eventually edit this post to stand more on its own on here. In the meantime, I'm posting it as is.
"Quote for Today: 'Don't Talk Too Much'"
After reading a post by another Bubblews member. ("Quote for Today: 'Don't Talk Too Much'"), which made points about how talking too much and seldom listening often means never learning anything (among some other disadvantages to "talking too much"); I thought I'd ponder the belief (that a lot of people have) that talking "too much" is essentially a bad thing.
The post asked readers whether they were "talkers" or not. My short reply to that question is that I'm a selective talker. On the one hand, I talk a whole lot in conversations with close friends (and if I'm not talking I may be "talking a lot" by writing). On the other hand, there has always been a whole lot that I don't say and situations in which I remain completely silent (or else speak only when someone asks me a question directly, in which case (at least once I got past five years old when I wasn't above refusing to respond to what seemed like "stupid" remarks to me) I reply. I pretty much went through my entire secondary-school years completely silent in class, believing that/expecting teachers to stand there, do a good job of sharing the information, and otherwise don't expect me to participate in talking. At the time, that was my idea of how learning should go (and it sometimes went well with some teachers).
When it wasn't going well (up to my "standards" with regard to "high-quality information-sharing" I would, in my own mind, turn "useless" classroom time into something that I valued as much as, or more than, whatever wasn't being taught very well in any particular class; by having "better" conversation with whoever was nearby and (apparently) also seeing "socializing" as more valuable than the particular class. Let's just say I saw myself as "making good use of time and materials" (sort of). I've always been an efficient user-of-my-own time; and to this day, the minute I sense someone or something is wasting my time (by, say, taking some things too seriously or taking themselves too seriously or otherwise seeming clueless in one way or another) I'll pretty much find (or be found by) the nearest person who sees it as the time-wasting/silly as I do; and start socializing ("whisper-socializing" maybe, but socializing nonetheless). So, I am a talker and yet a non-talker (but let's face it, sometimes not-talking only happens because I write instead.)
The thing is, though, I'm a verbal person and a person whose main focus leans more towards people and relationships than anything else (those two things tend to go together); and I'm a mother. Mothers can't afford to worry about how unattractive or uncool not-talking is, or may be seen. While I certainly see changes with regard to how many young men today (of my children's generation) lean more toward being "tuned in" to relationships; until fairly recently (and even now) being tuned into relationships and socializing has often been associated more with girls and women than men and boys.
Being a talker (or too "too much", at least according to the opinion of a lot of non-talkers of the world) is not a bad thing. The key is in not being a windbag and in being able to back up what one says with solid facts; or at least knowing how to present opinions/questions/concerns as nothing more than that. Another "key" is in knowing not to "just think" something without looking more into very solid, reliable, sources (particularly when talking to one's children; and in other words, reading up on pertinent subjects and not just spouting off about them when talking to kids who are old enough to check out facts/information for themselves).
From the day they're born, children (or even pets, for that matter) learn by having someone who respects them and cares enough about them to talk to them a whole lot more than, sometimes, one would think energy permits. And, maybe one reason so many people have such an aversion to "talking too much" is that they either didn't like what adults told them (either because they were kids and didn't understand or else because they were kids and wanted to do what they wanted to do - or else because they knew adults were telling them "baloney").
The thing is, though, that the mother/parent (person) who doesn't know enough to start talking and keep talking (pretty much for all the time she'll ever be someone's mother, and times how-ever many kids she has) can do a wide range of damage to people and relationships. Something else is that people can sometimes equate "talking" with one-way speaking; and someone like me (a verbal person and very picky about word use) equates "talking" with "two-way, personal, conversation" and "one-way talking" as any number of other things entirely.
When I was a kid I had the luxury of remaining silent and letting whoever in the class it was who cared about being first to get the right answer and/or cared about "looking enthusiastic" have whatever "glory" I thought it was they wanted or needed. Also, I had the luxury of remaining silent and letting whichever kids it was that liked asking questions either because they HAD question or just liked hearing themselves pipe up.
Then I grew up.