Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Too Not Be Boring And Other Important Things To Remember When Conversing

Most people would think that introverts don't know how to converse properly, that we're all socially awkward. Unrelated fact, most people are dumb. Only the most noticeable of the sunlight-challenged stumble upon their words. Most of us, we live among you. We look like you. We talk like you. We walk like you. But we are not you. And yet you don't even know we are there. To you, we are one in a crowd.....

(Dear Pittacus Lore, please don't sue me. Show some love for someone else that's hiding from alien overlords. ~Love Becca)

As a writer: nay, as an introvert; nay, as a person who is easily bored and irritated; NAY as a person slowly turning into a horse right now, it continually astounds me that the majority of people I meet aren't capable of holding up a conversation of any substance. Saddens me, even. Perhaps this is because I am only meeting people my own age these days (and let's face it, as a whole, us newly made adults leave much to be desired) but it seems to me that at this point in their lives they should have the basics of courtesy and the ability to be the smallest bit interesting. So, before they ship me off to the glue factor, I shall endeavor to teach the world (or at least my generation) what our mothers seemed to fail to do.

1) Be engaged.

I put this first because this is the biggest problem I see and, coincidentally, my biggest pet peeve. People aren't engaging in a conversation. No, I don't mean interesting. I mean invested. We as a whole have seemed to forgotten that a conversation is a two-way street. And, let's admit it, we love hearing the sound of our own voices. Me, I think mine has a bit of a blue-jay song quality to it. So we use talking to others as a way soundboard the particular going-ons of our lives without giving any interest to the person we're going too. But do not be fooled, monkeys, for this is not a conversation. It's barely a step up from talking to a mirror. Actually, it's more like a step down. At least when you talk to a mirror it doesn't think your a snob. It thinks something along the lines of Oh dear lord, do I really have that many zits on my pane? I told mom windex would make it worse, but did she-Oh. Wait. That's the person standing in front of me. Never mind ma, you rock. 

Mirrors and their zit problems aside, I can tell you nothing is more annoying then someone who does not contribute to a conversation. Like they end each sentence with a statement about themselves. Example.
A: Ugh, seems like it's going to rain today. Isn't rain the worst?
B: One time it rained where I used to live.
A: Got a busy day ahead of me. You got any plans?
B: Yeah, one time a had a busy day too. It was the busiest. But don't tell me about what you were going to say because I don't care.
A: Making mac and cheese tonight. Want any?
B: Yeah I had mac and cheese once. It was yummy.


My point is this, when in a conversation, remember that you are not the only one standing there. Take interest in what the person your talking to has to say. Perhaps if they take a question, you might ask them one back. Or maybe if they are telling you a story, ask them about details. For the love of God, at least act like you care what they say.

2) Take a breath every once in a while, before you suffocate and die. 

We all know that one person whom we wished had an off switch. And whether it be because of lack of filter, lack of volume control, or lack of a pause button, we find ourselves exhausted after these encounters with little to show for it. This one kinda ties into the last one, but why don't you watch what you say and how you say it? Now, I'm no supporter of censorship, but when it comes to conversation somethings are down right distasteful and cruel at times. Or perhaps you're telling us things about yourself that we'd rather not know. It's also possible that we are concerned for your well being seeing as you haven't stopped talking for the past ten consecutive minutes and your face is turning a bit purple. Or maybe, just maybe, you're causing permanent damage to our ear drums because YOU CAN'T SEEM TO LOWER YOUR VOICE A COUPLE OF NOTCHES AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT THERE'S THESE COOL THINGS CALL MINTS NOW A DAYS, THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO FRESHEN YOUR BREATH. MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO THAT.

3) Act friendly. 

Last but not least, let's dive into the topic of people that always seemed annoyed that you share relative space with them. There are these people out in the world, let's call them "people with issues", and they generally give off the vibe as hating all living things that grow under God's blue sky. When you acknowledge them, they glare at you. When you speak to them, they reply in word worded answers that come with a bit of a bite. When they walk by babies, the babies start crying. I have the pleasure of knowing a number of people like this, so I have something to say to both parities involved in this dilemma. First, to those with a bit more cheerful disposition. Be patient, these people simply do not know how to communicate properly. Behind the scowl and the eyes of the tundra, they are probably thinking about unicorns. And to those without the cheerful disposition, I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but we are all scared of you. That may seem cool now, but in the end, your probably going to die alone because of it. Might I suggest cracking a smile or even mustering a head-nod every once in a while to at least starve off this morbid fate of yours? At the very least, turn up the heaters behind your eyelids, your frozen stare is literally giving me a cold. (P.S. Ignoring me will not get rid of me. I live here too.)

That's what I got for you this time folks. Hope it helps. Now if you'll excuse me, my roommate will not stop glaring at me so I think I'm going to get the snow boot out of the closet.

Stats of the Week
Song:  Seven Devils by Florence And The Machine
Book: The Code Of The Zombie Pirate by Scott Kenemore
Word: Exchange
Quote:  "Keep living Ed...It's only the pages that stop here."
-Markus Zusak, I Am The Messenger

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