Friday, November 21, 2008

Something that really bugs me

...and it's nothing political. Have you ever been interrupted by others? Had them talk over you? Had to repeat what you just said to them? Notice this glazed look in their eyes while you're talking, as if they're not listening to you but preparing for their next monologue? These are all symptoms of I'm-Not-Paying-Attention-To-You Syndrome, and it ticks me off.

When someone is telling you something, that's sharing, even if the topic is relatively innocuous. Do him/her the courtesy of shutting your mouth and opening your ears. Wait until he's done before you start your response. Even better, when he's done, take a breath before talking to give yourself a moment to consider what you've just heard. Think about what was said, and compare it against what you knew before to see if you need to perhaps change one or more of your opinions. Then, when you respond, you're guaranteed to sound more intelligent and sympathetic than you would if you'd simply overrode his words and chittered out the same opinion you had before the conversation began.

I'm not doing the passive-aggressive thing where I'm trying to reprimand someone specific who reads this blog; this is a pet peeve of mine that I just felt like airing. I don't like to be cut off, I don't like inattention*, and I don't like to repeat myself. A conversation is a considered exchange of opinions and information in which there is both talking and listening; without both of those two basic components, it's just blabbering in company.

*Note that a request for explication does not qualify as inattention or a request for a repetition; if anything, it's a sign that the other party is indeed paying attention.

New favorite lyric:

"Dominique, nique, nique s'en allait tout simplement
Routier pauvre et chantant
En tous chemins, en tous lieux, il ne parle que du bon Dieu
Il ne parle que du bon Dieu"

Artist: Jeanne-Paul Marie Deckers (Jeanne-Paul Marie Deckers/Noel Regney)
Song: Dominique
Album: Unknown


Blogger Anju said...

I'm sorry, what were you saying?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Gillian said...

Oh, man, that drives me nuts too. It happens all the time in my job, too. I'll try to answer a question a customer asks me, and before I can answer them fully, they interrupt me with another one. It's really hard, sometimes, not to snap at them.

10:43 PM  

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