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Henry Holt and Co.

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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 pay attention extra.

Read an excerpt under, 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 tips on how 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 totally different: I sat there and STFU. I informed myself to simply hearken 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 severe it received. 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 mentioned, “What are you doing? Why are you just sitting there?”

“I’m listening,” I mentioned.

“You’re not listening. You’re looking at your phone.”

“I’m not,” I mentioned, and pointed to my cellphone, which I had placed on a desk, out of attain.

“You’re ignoring me.”

“If I wanted to ignore you, I’d leave the room.”

“Well, you’re not helping me, so I guess you don’t care,” she mentioned.

“I know you’re feeling bad,” I mentioned.

“Yeah, no s***,” she mentioned.

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 drawback, which was not the English paper. The actual drawback was that she was sixteen and maturity was racing at her approach 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 received there, she won’t be capable of deal with it.

Just past that horizon looms the huge unknown of maturity, and it is just a little terrifying. You spend your entire childhood saying you’ll be able to’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 positive, nevertheless it’s too late. Ready or not, you’ll be able to’t flip again. And nobody is prepared.


These weren’t issues I may 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 may deal with it, and most necessary, she wouldn’t should 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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