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Precious Uwisike: The Times When Talking Does Not Help

Precious Kevwe Oghide

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Many times we believe talking solves the problem. You have therapists, friends and mentors encouraging you to talk about it. They go – “you need to talk about these things, talking helps; it’s therapeutic.” While I do not dispute this fact, I believe there are a million and one cases when talking only compounds the issue.

For instance, you experience a meltdown; in a crazy world like Lagos where everyone has to be aggressive to survive—your Landlord won’t let you be now that your rent is due, the bus conductor stalls on giving you your N450 change (maybe hoping you would forget or he just enjoys the fact that you have to tap him every 30 seconds to remind him), you raise your voice and he finally gets the message, extends your money to you and tells you in a cold voice to fȃrabalȅ. A hurrying passenger who unintentionally steps on you with a viciousness that smears the shine on your shoe.

These incidents define Lagos and in many cases, you have to meet aggression with aggression. You get to work after this ordeal and pressure starts to mount.Your boss needs a document like yesterday! A colleague is asking if you responded to an email, everyone is saying something to you at the same time. When these turn of events occur, you experience a meltdown, you really can’t describe what or how you are feeling or you just need to sob a bit or scream or pace for about two minutes (give or take) in order to arrive at a make-peace-with-the-situation point. At this moment, talking does not help. If you talk, you may sound angry and bitter and maybe draw attention to yourself. Don’t talk. Just inhale deeply and slowly… slowly exhale. There…you can now deal.

Many people are quick to have deep thoughts. I can be that way. I start to project into the future. One of the talks on speed dial in my mind is a chain of ‘what ifs”. IThe me-to-me conversation goes a little like this: I planned to run my MBA programme this year, it’s the second half of the year and I haven’t figured out which school, not to mention applying. What if I don’t do MBA this year? What if I get married next year, then I can’t do MBA again. What if B.Sc is my highest certificate? What if I can’t get another job? What if I don’t earn more than I am earning now? What if I can’t afford an Ivy League school for my kids? Then they will have to go to a government school and they will learn to speak bad English.  After the what if train of thoughts, I start to feel terrible and I sometimes allow myself wallow in it.

There are all kinds of ways to silence the chain of what ifs before they lead to panic and self-loathing. You can meditate. You can blast your favourite song and dance till your legs start to wiggle on their own. You can read a book. Or you can choose to see the brighter side of life; because what comes before and after what-ifs is not up to fate, but up to your decisions and the actions you take—not your words.

We all spot problems at work, at home, in our community and groups. Every now and then, we feel the need to stand up and list the malfunctions. Once, I stood up in my NYSC CDS group and listed the problems militating against the unit including how we were not being good ambassadors of the group, how our program on radio needed to be more focused and consistent. Granted, I just joined the group and I thought I could put in my best—but did I have the energy to rally about 100 team members 3 days a week? Did I have the money to make up for the budgetary differences-or the connections to raise cash? Was I ready to put in 9 hours a week to revamping the attitudes of team members? The long answer was; I had a 9-5 PPA job, I was running a professional course, I was earning N27000 (Allowee inclusive). The short answer was (and is); do not start what you can’t follow through. Do not flap your jaw about hitches to a system that you can’t put the effort into solving. The group I criticized will forget my critical-and hypocritical-lecture after a while.

Talking really isn’t necessary sometimes.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Robert Kneschke

Kevwe Uwisike is a Communications Specialist; a lover of words, PR Girl, Social Media Enthusiast and Content Developer. You may reach her via email on [email protected]

14 Comments

  1. dami

    July 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    @precious do you have like a blog or other social media accounts? You totally put down my thoughts….Great write up

  2. Zinny

    July 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Goop point about not talking sometimes, I’m not a big talker myself. On the other hand, that you go to a government school does not mean that you’ll speak bad English. I went to a government school and I speak well.

    • Zinny

      July 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      *Good*

  3. Sugar

    July 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you. Wished I had read this earlier…

  4. graciemama.com

    July 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I quite agree with you on this: Talking really isn’t necessary sometimes.
    Nice write up

  5. Nelly Udoh

    July 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    This is awesome! So awesome.
    Thanks.

  6. Tade

    July 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Talking abt bad English.I went to public school bcos my parents could not afford it and am doing much better than my friends that went to Govt schools..

  7. Di

    July 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    At writer, me and you both on that MBA talk….finding it hard to study for my GMAT and work full-time. My ‘what ifs” are can you comfortably duff out that $70,000 for tuition? What if something happens and interferes your finances? What if you remain an BSc engineer forever and invest that money rather? What if you get married next year and then pregnant and all the guys(everyone) at work keep giving you that grim sympathetic smirk like “yeah, one competitor off my path on the climb up the management ladder? 🙁
    What if I cannot take the time out to study when I start?

  8. Ify

    July 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    So what if a B.Sc is your highest certificate. Such a close minded way of thinking.

  9. Deean

    July 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Morale: sometimes silence does it. The words you utter in that fit of internal rage can mar your day or even your life completely.
    About public schools breeding children who speak bad English…tell your mind to stop thinking that because you and I know we went to public school and our command of english is so good that we can write articles worth featuring on BN. At least one less ‘what if?’to deal with.

  10. anonymous

    July 23, 2014 at 10:49 am

    yeah, sometimes we don’t really need to talk. i call all those talks ”ranting” and i also went to a government school and speak well… What really matters is the foundation of the child and how much the parents are willing to invest on the child in terms of time.. i learnt how to speak English before even heading to the four walls of a school. i don’t wanna digress much

  11. bimbo

    July 24, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Nice write up,talking really doesn’t help sometimes!!keep up the good work.

  12. Mayowa

    July 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Very insightful piece, it captures the rantings that goes on in my brain on a daily basis. With this piece, I am fired up and also encouraged to take one day at a time.

  13. adewale adetiba

    August 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Then they will have to go to a government school and they will learn to speak bad English! so, u are telling us that every kids that goes to government school is a product of ‘bad English?? with your good write-up and you just killed it with poor assertion or not being ‘objective’

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