Dan Lyons, technology reporter, came to awareness of a glaring fault while sitting alone in an apartment while his wife and children were still living at home.

His problem—he talked too much. When he got started, his kids would talk about “Danalogues.” The problem is so prevalent in our society that it has a name—“overtalking.”

Some people never stop. My mother-in-law was a sweet lady, but she never met a silence that shouldn’t be filled. Maybe you know people like that. Even worse are those in such a rush to talk that they constantly interrupt and talk over others. Now we’ve gone from gently amusing to greatly annoying. If any of this resembles you, you may be a “talkaholic.” In that case, this book is for you.

His book is Stfu: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World. There is a little analysis tool in the beginning that will help you discern your talkativeness.

“Speaking with intention,” he says in the introduction, “that is, not just blurting things out, improves our relationships, makes us better parents, and can boost our psychological and even physical well-being.”

Lyons not only describes the malady in graphic detail, he also offers five tips to STFU

  1. When possible, say nothing.
  2. Master the power of the pause.
  3. Quit social media.
  4. Seek out silence.
  5. Learn how to listen.

If you read nothing else in the book, do the first chapter on the problem and the last chapter on listening. Most people hear noise, but most people don’t really listen.

I can enter a room and quietly listen and observe and be happy. But if someone asks me a question, I’m capable of a half-hour exposition on the topic. I needed the book! I once taped a small note to the top of my notebook that said only STFU. (That means shut up, if you don’t get the initialism.)

Try it. You’ll like it.

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