This week’s quote is from Frank Tyger:

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble’.

Google says that Brooklyn-born Frank spent most of his career at the Trenton (NJ) Times (known today as the Times of Trenton). At the paper  he wore many hats including editorial cartoonist, humorist, columnist and Promotion Manager, earning him the nickname of “Mr. Times” amongst his colleagues and the Trenton community.


I became a good listener from a very young age, partly because I was dreadfully shy and partly because Mum was and still is rather verbose.  I learned quite a lot through pretending to read while all the time listening to adult conversations!  Days later I would tentatively ask Mum questions about what I’d heard, and she’d usually give an answer in her non sugar-coating way.

As I grew older I was still quiet although a bit more sociable.  Schoolfriends would confide all, knowing I’d keep their secrets and not cause trouble within our little social group.  Even now, strangers tell me all sometimes (click on this link to see what I mean. ).

These days I still prefer to listen rather than talk.  My husband often says one of the reasons he asked me out in the first place was because I wasn’t ‘chattering shite nineteen to the dozen’!

I’d inherited a natural taciturn personality from my father and his mother, my grandmother.  When Dad used to drive me over to see his mother, the three of us would sit in silence for what seemed like ages!  However, none of us felt the need to talk at all.  Mum would visit Nan as well sometimes, and would chatter away with her usual verbal diarrhoea, never wondering nor commenting on why she was not receiving much response.  Even at 92 Mum’s verbosity is legendary, interrupting any sound we might make and instructing us to ‘listen’.  Sam and I and our boys and girls keep quiet and just let her get on with it, but when we come away none of us have a clue what she has been talking about, but Dot feels so much better getting it all off her chest!

I can see that my 11 year old granddaughter is now exactly like I used to be, preferring to sit with adults and listen in while half-heartedly checking her phone for messages.  What goes around comes around…

Are you a talker or a listener?