We talk to each other for many reasons. To gossip. To solve problems. To criticize, to teach, to help, to plan, to show off what we know. But there is one reason to talk that probably outweighs all the others in its meaning and significance. That is to talk to connect, get closer, be known. To not be alone.
If you haven't given it much thought, this purpose for talking might not seem to be worth much. It might not have ever been demonstrated in your home. But being alone — with a wonderful thing or a troublesome thing — is unnatural, unpleasant, and unhealthy. We long to be connected because we're human. It isn't natural to be isolated, although much of our culture and technology is working against us.
Think about this purpose for communicating next time someone starts talking. Regardless of what other purpose you may detect, notice an underlying need to not be alone. Connect to that purpose. Recognize it and speak to it. Listen to it.