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“STFU” author Dan Lyons on his call to talk less, listen more

Our commentary comes from New York Times bestselling author Dan Lyons, whose new book, “STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Nosy World” (Henry Holt), calls for less talking and more listening…

Sooner or later, everyone who talks too much gets into trouble. You might hurt someone, or hurt their feelings. You could lose your job, or break up a relationship.

I know, because I’m a hardcore Overtalker. I also know how hard it is to break a habit.

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This is partly because the tendency to overtalk is wired into your brain, and you can’t change it. But at the same time, we live in a world that is practically forces you Talking too much

Henry Holt & Company

Social media is designed for you to post, share, like and comment. And somehow we’ve come to believe that success is measured by your ability to command attention. The founder of a tech company once told me that he judges people’s worth by how many Twitter followers they have.

that was funny. Look at Steve Jobs. He was not on Twitter at all. it was Zero follower. What was its value? Zero?

the most powerful and successful people actually talk Less than other people, and they listen more. They speak with intent. And they understand the power of silence.

Barack Obama is one of the greatest orators ever, but he’s an even better listener. Richard Branson is a billionaire entrepreneur, and makes a big splash in public, but in meetings he mostly takes notes. Anna Wintour is one of the most powerful people in media and fashion, and she’s famously cool. No one knows what’s going on behind those sunglasses.

I’ve found that, in almost every aspect of life, talking less pays you. You may get a promotion, or negotiate for a better salary. You will almost certainly be a better parent and partner.

The best part is that you will not only improve your life; You will improve the lives of those around you.

There are thousands of books and classes out there that teach you how to be a better speaker. We really need to learn how to be silent.

Read an excerpt: “STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endless Noise World” by Dan Lyons

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Story produced by Aria Shavelson. Editor: Chad Cardin.

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