Mum always said, "My dear, you have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately!"
You know how sometimes, kids tend to make such efforts to explain things or talk their way out of some situation. Mum would listen to you, sometimes amused, and, sometimes clearly irritated.
But, she always listened to us, focusing intently, hardly ever taking her eyes off you (and Mum had real big eyes), then she would say, ever so gently but firmly, "Now, shut up and listen."
Not angry. Not uncomfortable.
Not scolding. Not reprimanding.
Not judging. Not criticising.
Just gently pointing out one of life's greatest lessons and one of the best gift you can give to anyone; your ears and your undivided attention.
I am learning to do the same.
To give people more of my ears and less of my mouth.
I'm learning to just shut up, focus on the person in front of me and just listen to them.
I'm still learning to give people the gift of a listening ear.
You will agree with me that there are times when this is extremely tasking.
And then, there are times when I feel like saying to the other party after listening, "Now, you shut up and listen".
But, then I can, because, I still use my mouth from time to time... You know, finding the balance.
Oh, and don't worry, when I ask someone to, "Shut up". I do it in a really nice way, not as nice or as gentle as my Mum, but nice still...