I was taking a stride one Saturday afternoon after a heavy downpour where I chanced on an unusual but interesting character of an astute young man. This man must be confused, I murmured, as I saw a well to do young man (in his late 30s) standing over the other side of the road completely clueless and dejected, and depressed.
My counselling instincts struck me on the inside so hard that I was left with no other choice than to inch closer. A little over five (5) meters in awe of him, I knew it was going to be a difficult afternoon for this ‘young and aspiring counsellor’, so I had to decide which technique to use in the split of a second.
Motivating/encouraging the unwilling client (a counselling technique used when the counsellor, because he/she wants to offer help, draws closer to the client (mostly against his wish) he/she perceives as needing help, and thus persuade or motivate him/her into the process). Although it proved difficult, as I had already envisaged, I pressed on to get to the bottom of it.
The young man, unlike Esi D. Dorothy of myJCR.com fame, was an introvert in nature and an introvert in nurture, and so found it hard to voice his concerns, and moreover he saw me as a small boy who didn’t have an idea of what life is about. My presence was just a nuisance to him at first, but after a couple of thought provoking questions, he succumbed to the discussion.
I kept a straight face as he described to me his ordeal. He said, my man, “In the space of a month, I’ve lost two of the most important things in my life. Two ideal dreams have been blown away with the speed of a locomotive. I lost out on a multimillion contract and to mar the waters the more, just as I was gathering the courage to ask her hand in marriage, a friend had married this lady that I’ve longed for almost all my life! Though the latter is more heartbreaking, it all boils down to my inability to ‘speak when it matters’. This has sure been my bane all my life and has really taken a toll on me. I think I need someone to help me overcome this”.
I was puzzled at hearing his ordeal, and so did encouraged him and got him a counsellor to take him through even as we walked down the street.
The point is straightforward and simple. You will always lag behind in life and live a pale shadow of yourself if you choose to let your personality style, temperament, or the environment you find yourself in pin you down and shut you up to the extent where you can no longer speak out for yourself. There’s this adage that “silence is golden“, but in a more refined and reframed form I say, “silence is golden only when it doesn’t matter to talk“. Meaning your silence can never be golden if there’s something important to speak about.
I am not saying become a loudmouth, but I’m pointing to a direction where you become a loudmouth ONLY when it matters! The emphasis is on purposeful talking. Be an extroverted introvert when you need to speak to claim a possession, to explain (defend) yourself, to save a life or to pass a meaningful information.
Many are those that are at places they never wished to have been, some never got to where they wanted to get to, others enjoyed a life of mediocrity by staying where they were, but I’m challenging you today to speak out when it matters in order to get some things going for you. Have a good listening ear, but never hesitate to let your concerns known when necessary, don’t be like the young man (our case study), SPEAK OUT! (I zip my mouth).
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