Talking till your hearts content...or not!

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Go for a walk with a friend and talk for 7 and a half minutes non stop…….

For me the challenge of talking to a friend for seven and a half minutes came with not knowing when to stop! I have never found it difficult to open up, to share or to trust those in my company - Lucky me, Unlucky them! In recent years however this has at times left me feeling a bit vulnerable and where ignorance is bliss I found myself unable to return to that happy place of being ‘The Best of you’ because quite simply they know too much. For this reason I have taken a small step back and began to appreciate the choice I have in what I speak aloud and what I keep under lock and key. This I have done for my own ‘protection’ but also to save those I love from the monotonous riddles of an overactive mind. And so bored of my own voice I decided to focus on gifting others with this moment and to simply listen. No interruptions, no advice, no feelings and no resonating, or sharing comparative stories - just listening!

I introduced the walkie talkie experiment to a beautiful friend of mine. Six months pregnant and unconvinced by the weatherman she begrudgingly obliged to go for a walk with me. Bemused by the randomness of such a request she gave me an endearing roll of the eyes which I receive frequently and embraced me as she always does as the best of friends do.

I don’t know if vocalising this experiment made any difference to how much she opened up as we have always shared our inner most personal feelings with one another but one thing that was different was how I listened. I felt much more patient, curious and fascinated by every word that she spoke. Neither did I feel the same urge to jump in on the conversation. Rather I just let her be.

I took a different approach when doing my walkie talkie with my mum. My mum finds walking non pleasurable and so I knew that this was not the best way to have a lovely chat and so we opted for a comfy seat, glass of wine and some Nova radio. My mum accepted the challenge without questions and took it rather quite seriously in sticking to the brief. I watched intently as she listed off her minds activities from the trivial to the serious, from the fact to the fiction. Usually a very quiet woman I was fascinated by how she just let me into her mind for this short time. It was a moment I truly valued for many, many reasons and intend on making this a regular activity with her, wine in tow of course!

On the contrary I was stumped when my father downright refused to participate. I was fascinated by the visible pressure that I was putting my dad under by even suggesting it . I had thought that the car was the place to do it. The lull of a car journey is typical for making people closer and open up. I have since read that being side on side gives people a sense of safe distance and security whilst remaining very close and intimate with the driver. If you catch yourself on a long car journey with someone chances are you will know them marginally better by the time you arrive at your destination. My Dad wouldn't play the game and irritatingly we found ourselves speaking about finances, followed by a political debate. What I knew my dad would do is listen to me for seventy and a half minutes if I choose to talk. This made me appreciate the differences in peoples make up and appreciate ones desire to protect the only thing that can remain yours and yours only - your thoughts!

If anything this experiment ensured that I enter into full concentration and attentiveness with the person who I am with. I tend to try and fit way too much in and with a 65 hour working week even the smallest of things seem like a mountainous task, my mind often divided into various places. Seven and a half minutes is nothing but aided with attention and care can be a very important, significant and meaningful time. And with such amazing friends and family around me they deserve nothing but my full attention. This next month for me is all about focus focus focus! And if I can remember just once where I have parked my car in the morning I will conclude mission successful!

Sarah-Kate Goodwin

A Great Wake Up Champion!. A Chronically indecisive worrier. A Painfully forgetful dreamer. A self deprecating over thinker and a rather untidy perfectionist, but with all the luck of The Irish and A Champion all the same!


Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 5 years ago
What a beautiful way to interpret the experiment! Especially the moment with your mum! I agree it can be so rewarding to turn off our personal dialogue and really listen to someone else! Big hugs - and good luck finding your car ;-)
Go to the profile of Christopher Goodwin
over 5 years ago
I feel bad! Will try and make more of an effort next time and will certainly not mention finance or even worse, politics!
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 5 years ago
Loved how you made this experiment your own, great blog.
Go to the profile of Jacqui
over 5 years ago
Lovely idea to focus on listening. Lovely blog.
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
Fantastic! What a great way to connect with your loved ones and well done for making that happen in your very busy life. Thanks SK, C xx
Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 5 years ago
I can relate to saying too much and feeling vulnerable about giving too much away about oneself, it's something I've done to often myself. I do talk too much and I am an open book. But I come to realise "so what", that's who I am. If people don't want to know - "so what". Why should people like everything about me/you/them anyway. Anyway it sounds like the experiment was a great success. I always enjoy reading 'wake up' challenges going well for people. Take it easy
Go to the profile of Sarah-Kate Goodwin
over 5 years ago
Thanks Jacqui and Fi! Im improving the hunt for my car in the mornings Vanessa, yet managed to lock myself out of my house twice this week. Focus has been harder to maintain than Id wished for. Thanks for another great challenge Chris, opening my mind in weird and wonderful ways weekly! Im blissfully awakened and incredibly grateful for the connections and appreciation of important people in my life that the tasks are instilling, and yes Dad(other Chris) that means you too! Do not apologise for your response, I loved the moment and learned greatly as I always do from you.... Mark, your absolutly right! "thats who I am" so why change! A mantra to hold close!