Before I delve into the specifics of this topic, let me just tell you that since Kindergarten I have gotten a strike in the talking column on every report card. Not for a deficiency or impediment, but for doing it too much. Anywhere you put me in the class, I was socializing, and to this day I would still classify myself as a talker.
As a talker, you are familiar with having the spotlight while everyone listens to your charismatic stories. You are the funny, "out there" person in your friend group, and you wouldn't have it any other way. There are a few things that happen when you take a step back from this routine however, that are actually quite positive.
The most obvious change after you vow to start talking less is that you become a better listener. You notice all the times that you cut a conversation off or amplify your voice to be the loudest in the group. It can be obnoxious and aggressive and come off like your opinion is more valuable than others- when really we all have important things to say. When you open your ears instead of your mouth, you realize this, and may even learn something new.
As a result of listening better, you retain more knowledge, get to know people on a deeper level, and gain a broader appreciation for things. Listening induces patience, and patience brings perspective. We could all use a little perspective on different things. If you're a talker like me, you may be cutting yourself off from the bigger picture.
With perspective comes understanding, and this is the most important change that talking less can bring. Rather than planning a response or jumping to a conclusion during a conversation, you can really engage and fully think about what you want to contribute. Sometimes it might be nothing- and that's OK. Sometimes people aren't looking for advice or answers, just someone to lean on or vent to, and that's really valuable.
Learning to bite my tongue or pull back in certain situations has been difficult at times, only because it is so unusual for me. But it's been the best decision I've made yet. It doesn't mean I have to water myself down or cease to entertain, but I have found peace in relenting.
Bryant H. McGill said that "One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say". Over the course of my transformation I can say that this is overtly true. At the end of the day people just want respect, and it's easy to forget when you're too busy being the class clown or the center of attention.