Does Talking Actually Solve Problems?

July 24, 2012

Philosophical question – this is not sarcastic. I truly would love to know your theory.

Does talking really solve problems? I hear people say, “let’s talk it out.” Every single time I hear those words, I wonder, “do spoken words solve problems?”

I ask/think the following:

  • Does talking feed the poor?
  • Does talking clean my house?
  • Has talking truly ever solved any of my problems?
  • My dog doesn’t get fed by talking.

I thought action only solved a problem.

My dog, Bella Jayne, is the only one who gets me.

How does talking solve any problem? (no sarcasm)

I truly want to know if anyone has a theory.

Do you know of any problem that has been solved by talking?

Am I thinking about this the wrong way?


Do they appear to be solving a problem by talking? I would love to know your theory on this philosophical question!

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  1. :) i nearly wanted to say welcome back i was puzzled by yesterdays post it didnt seem like you but then what do i know? anyways good post i have never been a fan of a problem shared and all that rubbish i tend to keep most stuff to myself either too personal for me talk about or i just dont want to, i dont do sharing my deep stuff either with public or friends i can however understand that problems of a more logic base could be better understood by talking because it helps me look at things in a diferent light damn its hard to type with a chihuahua sat on the keybaord! so no i dont think personal stuff is solved by talking not for me anyway i hate people knowing personal stuff about me, very embarassing, but i am a good listener, maybe thats how life is; some are good talkers and some of us are good listerners and i cant do both :) have a lovely day with hopefully no incidents! xx

    • Feel the same way Kizzy. Talking may solve relationship problems – or does it? Well, never has any of mine. I guess to me, actions speak louder than words. I know other people do get agitated with me all the time because I do not like to “talk things out.”

      I do not really understand their frustration – so I decided to write this post to get feedback on the subject.

      Am I wrong or are they? That is truly the point of this post.

      • hmm i have to apologise i cant find the post that puzzled me so now i am thinking it was maybe on another blog so no wonder i thought it didnt sound like you :) forgive me the ms does daft things to my mind a certain amount of patience is always required when hanging around with me :) have a super evening :) xx

        • Had to delete the post. That was a huge American faux pas on my part. Plus, posts and books have been written on the subject over and over. I thought ugh, this has been done already, and scrapped it.

          • aahh i do that i think so far i have scrapped five posts no six some times i think no i should just stand by what i have written then i just cant relax until i come and remove it :) i am off on my usual ghosty hunting at the moment :) have a super eveing :) xx

            • I think I am going to do what an expert blogger told me. He said he types his post on his computer, in Microsoft word and them transfers them to
              I am constantly editing posts. Think I will take his advice. My college professor once said, “every piece of writing can always be better.” The professor was right!

              • brilliant idea , except i cant afford microsoft word have you seen how much it costs? oh crikey its enough to make little old me faint so i will just have to keep on mkaing mistakes and hope people dont mind :) xx

                • I have a super old version from years ago, but it still works. Word is outrageously expensive. I do not mind mistakes at all Kizzy. I feel it shows your character in your writing. It makes your writing look cool, to be honest. That is why everyone loves your posts.

  2. Maybe talking does help some problems, or at least helps you organise your brain so you can take positive action towards solving a problem, if you don’t talk about a problem you may act rashly and regret it. Then again, if you talk and talk and talk you won’t ever get round to acting.
    Talking must help, otherwise therapists would be out of a job, but maybe it only helps with personal issues. As you rightly point out, talking doesn’t feed the poor or tackle many other worldly problems.
    Blogging can kinda be like talking, you’re just doing it virtually. Some people blog to hash out their problems and gain advice from strangers, others discuss issues (personal or otherwise) which may lead to action and solving problems and may not.
    Thought provoking post – it made me have a conversation with myself as you can see above :D

    • Well, I thought, doesn’t organizing thoughts on paper help more than talking? Writing seems better than talking, because at least there is a record. It is actually a rather complicated, philosophical question. A conundrum of sorts, I suppose.

      • Good point but talking means you get new ideas of someone else who sees it from a different perspective.
        Definitley a conundrum :)

        • @mystudentstruggles – I am getting all kinds of new ideas from this blog post, that are typed and not spoken. Conundrum indeed.

          Written words do have a powerful impact, I believe.
          For example: The Constitution

          • For a America, yes that makes sense the constitution is a powerful written document.
            In England however, our constitution isn’t really written down as such. At least not in the same way the American one is, it’s all in bits and pieces and made up of conventions and things.
            Good point though. But laws have to be talked about. It’s a never ending argument :D

            • @mystudentstruggles – world peace talks are talking. However, the peace talks are transcribed by a secretary and recorded via video and audio and on paper. In America, most meetings by lawmakers, judges, congressman, the President, statesman, and governors are all transcribed by a secretary. Each meeting is typed and recorded on paper. Most meetings are available to the public – unless deemed private or a matter of national security by the U.S. Government.
              Still – unending debate.
              Fun, I love debate!

              • I suppose for it be written it has to be talked about. You know the more we discuss this, the easier it is to forget what the original post was arguing or what side I’m on :D Love debates too!

                • @mystudentstruggles: Let’s make the discussion topic for this post:

                  Spoken words vs. Written Words

                  Which one solves problems?

                  Which has an actual affect?

                  Have spoken words solved any problem in the world – ever?

                • @mystudentstruggles – just thought of a problem that talking does actually solve.

                  Example: A salesman or a public speaker solves their financial problems by talking.

                  Some people make a living by spoken words and it solves their financial problems. For example:

                  Public Speakers
                  Political Speakers

                  • Also, lecturers/teachers use talking (at least they do if they’re any good). :)

                    • @mystudentstruggles – Finally, we found a few answers. I would have thought I would have been able to answer the post question easily, but it was complicated to think of any answers. My brain actually worked today, and learned something new. That does not happen often.

  3. Talking certainly works toward solving issues, but when it becomes the idol BS that is so many gossip websites and TV programs, talk becomes rather pointless as this doesn’t work toward solving the myriad of problems facing us all and this nation. United we stand, divided we fall. The old cliche’ is still true!

    • @John – I agree. It just seems as though people often forget the conversation and that leaves them or myself back at square 1, still facing a problem, that could not be solved by talking in the first place.

  4. Facta non verba?

    • @roughseasinthemed – Good Morning, is your comment in a different language? I will have to look up what facta non verba means.

    • @roughseasinthemed – Facta non Verba means “deeds not words” in Latin. Lovely phrase.

      I learn so much from your blog and comments.

      • Hi, I’m sorry, I went out so missed your question. But you answered your own question :)

        Sometimes I think quotes are better in the original which is why I used the Latin. It’s always been one of my favourite quotations. I’ll be doing a link back to your post later as I’m writing on a similar theme.

  5. You’re right, this is an engaging question, and I see you got thoughtful responses about it. I couldn’t answer myself except to say “sometimes”, which sounds as if I can’t take a position. As some of the others have pointed out, much depends on the quality of the talk. I have been given wonderful advice that helped me figure out ways to deal with frustrating problems, so that I was able to take actions to solve them. I have also been quacked at by dim-witted ducks, and all they did was waste my time and attention. I guess my follow-up question would be “Who’s doing the talking?”

  6. Well, talking is a piece of the puzzle. By itself, no, oftentimes it does not solve a problem. There is usually a process involved that requires action afterwards. When I sit down with my team of people to solve a problem or to complete a task, it is extremely important that we communicate well with each other because it only takes one person have a slight misunderstanding that will cause everything to go off course. This involves talking. If we all walked around silent, no one would really know what to do. Now, yes, there are some situations in life (a lot in fact) that solve themselves without having to go through conversations. Sometimes we can talk too much and ruin a situation. It just depends on what the situation is. Great question!

    • @ T.S. Wilkins – Great Point. I agree, communication is important in the work place. However, as you stated, talking does cause multiple issues in the workplace with gossip etc.

  7. I think that talking can work in two ways –
    1) to work things out (internal)
    2) to become aware (external)
    In each case, the talking may be useful because we get feedback from someone else (avoid getting lost in our own minds) and/or we may help another to see something from another point of view (opening our minds).
    If the talking is just to figure something out – like, for example, your question in this post – then that’s all; done.
    But if the talking is to become awarer of issues – the need to act – then without the action, the talking is esentially useless & a waste of time.
    Just sayin’…

    • @Sprinklin Thoughts – presto! Talking with zero action does what? Nothing..People forget the discussion…problem goes on..then what? Shall we take minutes on each discussion? Perhaps I should record every discussion on my iPhone and remind people of their prior decisions.

      My peers make decisions, I then act. Then my peers forget their decision and get angry with me.

      Thus, my reason for this entire post and discussion.

      Decisions of significant life impacting importance should be recorded for later reminding, and review for changes of the decision if needed (my opinion).

      • “My peers make decisions, I then act. Then my peers forget their decision and get angry with me.” Happens to me al lthe time. Irritating.
        I’m not so much for recording though – shouldn’t be necessary if people are true to their word (and decisions).

        • I know how you feel on this one, same thing happens to me all the tiime, it is sooo frustrating!

          Sometimes I feel like need a personal assistant to type when having an important conversation with a person. They often forget the plan by the following week. Then I think, “where have all the smart people gone?”

          as Pink (singer/songwriter) states in one of her songs “Stupid Girls.”

  8. @roughseasinthemed – Wow! You just drove a ton of traffic my way. Thank you. I am honored.

    Thanks again!

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