Over the years (and as of today it is 61 years...yikes!!) I have met a few women who know how to talk...and talk...and talk some more, barely pausing for breath. Now, I realize that I too can manage a good bit of yakking given half a chance, but a few ladies I have met over the years must be setting some kind of world record for non-stop blabbing.
As I think back to two of the ladies in particular, I wonder what sort of events or situations arose in their live to turn them into such talking machines. What wounds have they sustained, what insecurities do they battle that make them blither on like wind up dolls who never actually wind down?
One of them maintained a constant diatribe about job disasters and frustrating bosses...mostly at jobs she hasn't held for years now...ping ponging back and forth between that and every paint brush stroke on her never ending house renovations.
The other never stopped talking about herself and her own perceived talents. Admittedly she did have many of them, but there was never any point in praising her because she did it all herself in non-stop fashion for hours on end. There wasn't an opportunity given to offer any praise or any other words of conversation.
When I envision each of these women all I seem to see are talking heads. I couldn't even tell you what the rest of each of them looked like when I knew them.
I caught myself the other day going on about something that would have been of minimal interest to the person I was talking "to"...."at"?? Suddenly an image of those two talking heads appeared in my mind and I shut myself down rather quickly, feeling quite embarrassed. I apologized to the person I was talking to and he was very kind about it, but I felt stupid nonetheless.
When the Bible talks about the difficulties in "taming the tongue" in the Book of James (chapter 3, vss 1-12), I suspect that not stopping the chatter long enough to listen to the other person or show any interest in them is part of what that set of verses is talking about. An untamed tongue can be a display of self-absorption that is not only very unattractive to those listening to the monologue, but also shows a definite lack of love and concern to the people trapped into listening to it.
Wounded people do have difficulty in having deeply felt interests in other people. Next time I find myself trapped in listening mode while a talking head rambles on and on, I will ask myself what may have happened in that person's life to cause such an unbalanced method of communication. Perhaps that will assist me in having deeper compassion, more effective prayer times for such people and less irritation at feeling that I have just spent a few hours in a wind tunnel after being with them.