Ebook excerpt: “STFU,” on the ability of conserving your mouth shut
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Author Dan Lyons’ new guide, “STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World” (Henry Holt), is a name to speak much less, and to hear extra.
Read an excerpt beneath, and do not miss Dan Lyons on “CBS Sunday Morning” March 19!
“STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World” by Dan Lyons
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My daughter was freaking out. She had a paper due for her English class in two days and had nothing to say about these poems. She was going to get a zero for the project, fail the category, wreck her GPA, and never get into school.
She was sixteen, a junior in highschool. I needed to repair the issue for her. I needed to inform her the way to do the project. That’s what I had at all times accomplished previously. And guess what? It by no means labored. The extra I attempted to assist, the extra upset she turned.
So, this time I attempted one thing completely different: I sat there and STFU. I informed myself to simply take heed to her and belief that she would determine it out on her personal. It was agonizing. She was caught on the Anxiety Wheel, and the extra she talked, the more serious it bought. The overtalker in me was dying to be let loose of its cage. But I saved my resolve.
Finally, my daughter seen that I wasn’t speaking and stated, “What are you doing? Why are you simply sitting there?”
“I’m listening,” I stated.
“You’re not listening. You’re taking a look at your cellphone.”
“I’m not,” I stated, and pointed to my cellphone, which I had placed on a desk, out of attain.
“You’re ignoring me.”
“If I needed to disregard you, I’d go away the room.”
“Well, you are not serving to me, so I suppose you do not care,” she stated.
“I do know you feel dangerous,” I stated.
“Yeah, no s***,” she stated.
She laughed. I did, too.
Gradually, she grew calm. The Anxiety Wheel that had been spooling up started to decelerate. And then she began speaking about the actual downside, which was not the English paper. The actual downside was that she was sixteen and maturity was racing at her manner too quick and that, like most children her age, she was afraid she wasn’t prepared for it. She was about to take the SATs and apply to high schools. She was scared—not solely that she won’t get into school however that when she bought there, she won’t be capable of deal with it.
Just past that horizon looms the huge unknown of maturity, and it is a bit terrifying. You spend your entire childhood saying you may’t wait to be a grown-up and get out by yourself, however then you end up standing on the threshold—and, all of the sudden, you are not so certain, but it surely’s too late. Ready or not, you may’t flip again. And nobody is prepared.
These weren’t issues I might repair, however she did not need me to repair them. She simply wanted to be assured that it was okay to be scared and that no matter life had in retailer for her, she might deal with it, and most necessary, she wouldn’t must face it alone.
Excerpted from “STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World” by Dan Lyons. Copyright © 2023 by Dan Lyons. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Co. All Rights Reserved.
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“STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World” by Dan Lyons (Hardcover)
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