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Never miss a good chance to shut up

Listening means stop talking, strive to understand, observe body language, don’t interrupt, and forgo planning what you want to say in return. Just listen.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD, For The Oklahoman Published: April 1, 2014

Instead, we interfere — we get defensive and interrupt, too often using words we later regret and wish we could take back. Then we wonder why the other person will no longer communicate with us. It is simple: We didn’t listen. We didn’t hear — usually because a person is not saying what we wanted.

“Never miss a good chance to shut up” might be a piece of wisdom worth heeding — in the family, with friends or on the job. Amazing what we might learn.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at