Friday, 11 May 2012

Talk Is Cheap

I love talking, I love listening and I love questions, both answering them and asking. Bob Hoskins said “It's good to talk” (those of you who don't remember that are too young to understand the delicate nuances running through this blog). I love talking so much I used to talk in my sleep according to my parents. I always had "talks too much" on my school report. I'm the one who never shuts up, overshares, and desperately fills every little silence with words, words and more words. I feel like if two people aren't talking there is a void filled with, well, nothing.

I like it when people talk. It makes me feel comforted, at ease and that I can trust a person. You find out so much about a person from what they say and the questions they ask. Someone who talks a lot must be trustworthy right? They say it’s the quiet ones you should watch out for.

But the truth is words are so easy to say. They are the lazy person’s choice, sometimes even the deceptive person’s choice. It's easy to say I love you, I'm sorry or I'd do anything for you. You can say it from the comfort of your sofa. You can text it from your phone. You can click "like" on Facebook. You don't actually have to do anything at all.

My life, indeed all our lives are a constant quest to make sense of the world, and find the best way to express ourselves. As a writer, words have always been my expression of choice, surely there is no better way to communicate?

But I have begun to realise that sometimes what we say doesn't necessarily match up to what we do. And the very fact that it’s easier to say than do, means that what we do says far more about ourselves than what we say ever can.

You can lie with words, but it is very difficult to lie with actions.

It's very easy to say "I'm sorry" but it’s much harder to show someone you're really sorry with your behaviour.

It's very easy to say "I love you" but much more complex to prove your love by doing.

And it’s very easy to say I'm a good friend but it’s only through our actions that friendship is proven beyond all doubt.

They say actions speak louder than words and as I grow older I am learning this is one old adage that rings especially true. Just because someone says something doesn't necessarily mean that it’s the truth. You have to look at what they do in order to see the real person underneath.

The truth is talk is cheap. We can all rattle on about how we love someone, are sorry, would do anything for a person etc but only through our actions do we really speak what is in our hearts.

We are all busy and have little time, and as a result, we are getting selfish with the time we take to show people we care. But there are some people in my life that consistently say far more with their actions, the things they do, than the things they say. Being there when you feel lonely says “I am here for you” more than a phone call, and a cuddle says “you can trust me” more than a text. We need to focus more on what we do rather than what is said, to show people how much they mean to us.

I don't like to consider myself needy, but like most people I like to give and receive "proofs of love", little markers that tell someone they are special, or cared for, whether that is a friend, family member or lover. I have always listened to the words, feeling they are most important, but as I grow older I am realising that it’s the actions that give the greatest proofs of love.

Talk is cheap. Silences don't need to be filled, and a quiet moment is not necessarily a void. A quiet moment can include a touch, a look or an embrace, and it’s those things that really speak the truth of what is going on inside.

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