Ok, so I’m a pretty sociable kinda gal, when I’m in a sociable kinda mood of course. I thoroughly enjoy a bit of banter, an amicable conversation, a raucous anecdote exchange. But it’s the casualties involved in speaking to some people that make me awfully warry to even bring up the condition of the weather with a friendly looking bystander.
“Casualties?” I hear you scream in confusion. Yes dear readers – casualties. I’ll explain. A casualty of conversation may occur when I’m asked a question in conversation, and before I’ve gotten through the prefix of the first word of my answer I’m brutally cut off with a new question or the start of a brand new conversation topic, usually about something ridiculous like whatever jib happens to be floating through the questioner’s mind. Another casualty? Well, another may occur when you are seemingly engaged in a stimulating conversation and you look over to find your conversation buddy’s gaze drift off as lazily as a cow chewing the cud, your existence seeming to phase out of this reality that we’ve all come to know and love, and into the Realm of Disinterest. “Another!” I hear you shout, Thor style. And perhaps the harshest. The old nod-and-smile-until-it-seems-like-her-lips-have-stopped-flapping-and-therefore-stopped-talking-so-I-can-jabber-on-about-my-favourite-topic: me!
Now this may simply seem like the rant of a really boring and unexciting conversationalist. But this is simply not the case I assure you! I’m a regular social butterfly, who will win a bet every time that I can make you smile after the briefest of exchanges. A conversation is a dance with words, be it a waltz or full on street dance routine, crew and all. And without tooting my own horn, I’d have to say that I know a few moves.
But it seems that some individuals out there reckon a conversation is actually a full on street fight, where anything goes and any weapon is acceptable. This is not the case dear readers! If the conversation consists largely of your own voice talking about you and your general comings and happenings, then try your best to reset this balance, for all you’re doing is sending out a jab, jab, hook combo out at your poor convo associate. And when you feel like your attention is drifting off to what you’re about to eat later on (I understand, we’ve all been there), then give yourself a couple seconds to imagine that ravioli and fresh wholemeal bread (traveller’s dinner) melting in your mouth, then snap back to this realm I tell you! And finally, if you’re simply not interested enough in what the person is saying to actually listen while you wait your turn to speak then politely excuse yourself and jog on!
For the sake of world peace, readers (ha!), avoid these casualties! There’s enough pain out there in the wild world without you adding to it with sloppy conversation skills.
Just some friendly advice from your local (though currently international) Pensive Buddha!
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Warning! Understatement of the year coming up: life is a difficult thing. No matter how hard you may try to solve issues and overcome difficulties, one problem seems to just get swapped for a new one. Take me for example. I left the country, continent, even the hemisphere to try to escape the things that were proving to be barriers to my happiness. And indeed i escaped them completely. But in their place, a more tropical variety of problems slotted straight in. Like being so very far away from your most cherished ones and missing them more than words will allow. And like missing your baby nephew’s first steps and first words. And like being forced to see exactly the type of person that you are when it gets mirrored back to you by the reactions and responses of your travelling partner. And like feeling epically alone, when the magnitude of the world dawns on you and you realise the connections that you have are as feeble in comparison as the softest lace.
Now don’t misunderstand me readers – I am having an amazing time. I’ve met the coolest, funniest, most interesting people that are trotting the globe right now. And I’ve seen some sites that have literally made my voice box shrivel up and take a nap, and my jaw drop and hang like a post pubescent boy’s junk. And I’ve overcome some personal challenges that I had previously assumed were to be permanent tenants of my psyche. It has been wonderful. But boy has it been tough.
So I guess this is me raising up to the heavens my gratitude for allowing me to be where I am right now. Though I think this is also me sending out a friendly notification that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but look up – there may well be more on offer above the ground.