How to Control Your Overspeaking Habit

Shut up in two easy steps

Michał Stawicki
5 min readSep 8, 2023
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from

To control your overspeaking habit, you need to control your speaking habits first. If you could’ve governed your self-talk that would be even better.

I have a great method for you: silence.

Steer the Traffic of Your Words

The silence practice is not restricted to unconditional muteness for the whole day. You can practice it in many variations, and they all will provide similar benefits. Of course, the more restrictive your practice is, the faster you will get its benefits and the greater those benefits will be. But you can manipulate your silence discipline in any way you wish to and still reap the benefits.

I know how uncomfortable and difficult (bordering on impossible) it is to not say a word for the whole day. You live in a society. You interact with your spouse, children, workmates, and many other people.

Thus, you can limit your silence practice to only specific times in your schedule, for example during your commute to work. Or you can arrange your work to provide an hour-long break with no words in the middle of your workday. Obviously, this won’t happen during the part of your day when you attend meetings, right?


You can place different restrictions on your tongue. Allow yourself to speak only a specific number of times per hour. Or give yourself a limit of words or sentences you can use in one hour or one day.

These methods are more adapted to the normal lifestyle — you cannot be a freak who says nothing all the time — but at the same time they’re harder to practice. All or nothing is easy to track.

Giving yourself permission to say something suggests some rules you have to keep track of. It’s easier to fall off the wagon and even easier to say to yourself: “Oh, I forgot about this and talked too much. Well, I’ll start again tomorrow.” And the “tomorrow” keeps getting pushed to tomorrow.


But the benefits of those modified tactics are very similar to the full-muteness practice, and in some ways even better. If you have to think about what you are saying, you utilize both directions of the mind-tongue motorway.

Photo by Allan Mas from

You have to ponder what you are going to say to stay within your limit of words or utterances, and you need to track what you are actually saying. You both think about what to say and listen to yourself while saying it.

Because you pay more attention to your speech patterns, your self-awareness will increase more rapidly, and it will be stronger. The most amazing thing is that you will actually get some grip over your self-talk in the process.

If you can govern your tongue, you gain control over your self-talk to some degree. The same automatic mechanisms that make you blurt things out trigger your inward blurts. If you can affect one, you can affect another.

Thus, “partial silence” is the first exercise that will actually make a direct difference in what you say to yourself and how you respond to your subconscious prods.

Action Plan:

1. Choose and implement a silence practice.
You can mix them or trim them to your needs and circumstances.

A. Enter full-muteness practice.

If possible, try to shut up for the whole day. It may be a day off or a day spent working on a solo project.

If not possible, restrict full-muteness to a specific period of time. One hour seems to be a nice round number. Or you can pick a shorter period in a more challenging period, for example, ten minutes during the morning rush.

The whole beauty of this practice lies in its simplicity. You cannot utter a word. Period.

You can still communicate, but without speaking. When I silenced myself, I used gestures and grunts extensively.

B. Set restrictions to your speech.

Allow yourself one sentence per ten minutes or a dozen words per hour or three interactions per two hours.

The specific plan must be yours, adjusted to your circumstances. If you work in customer service, it’s close to impossible to expect that you will be silent at work. If your kiddo just learned the magic word “Why?” saying nothing is not an option.

C. Mix muteness and restrictions.

This is the moderate middle way. Set yourself for complete muteness, but give yourself some backdoors: “If someone calls…” “If there is a meeting…” “If a client arrives…”

That way you will reap the benefits of imprisoning words in your head while giving yourself permission to “fail” from time to time.

2. Track your discipline.

When I tried to be quiet for the whole day, I tracked how many times I breached the silence. I simply jotted a stroke in my notepad whenever I said something.

Silence is very easy to track. You either said nothing or you said something. Come up with some system to record one or both situations. A pen and notepad, an app, or even a mark on your wall calendar — any method is fine as long as it suits you. Keep it simple and effective.

Those exercises will give you power over your speaking habits. Their foremost benefit is that they will make you mindful about what are you saying and when, something most of us is usually completely incapable.

Most of the above article came straight from my book Power up Your Self-Talk.



Michał Stawicki

Authorpreneur. Progress fanatic. I help people change their lives… even if they don’t believe they can. I blog on