I Once Burped To Cut The Tension
A writer is a professional observer.
When you get groups of people together, even writers, you get the talkers, and the listeners.
The talkers tend to gab, I think, to dissipate some of their nervous energy, from being with a group of people they don’t know – instead of chain smoking or stuffing their faces with donuts.
They want to appear engaged and engaging, which can only be accomplished on a full moon, at low tide, on a Thursday in November.
In other words…NEVER.
I do that, except I ramble on while smoking AND eating sweets.
It is my default setting.
Lately, like maybe the last couple of years, I’ve tried to override my hard wiring, and let someone else talk for a change.
Life is funny that way, it’s a bit like musical chairs.
When you get up from your assigned seat, others will rush in to sit there and take your space. There seems to be no shortage of nervous talkers.
I like to be polite and introduce myself, but I don’t speak until spoken to for awhile, I let other people come to me. That is unless several of us are just standing around in uncomfortable silence, then I will start the conversation.
Someone like me cannot tolerate a looooooooong silence. It hurts our ears.
I once burped to cut the tension. Everyone laughed and then we started a conversation about food that makes us burp.
It was riveting.
Listening isn’t passive, the best listeners aren’t thinking ahead to their response, they’re using their observation skills, like a reporter, taking mental notes about their conversation partner.
Who is this person? Why are they here? How can I find out more about THEM? All the while listening, because what the other person is saying will lead to the next question, and the next, and the next, so…you can throw away your notes.
Are you the talker in a group or the listener? When someone is talking, are you thinking ahead to what you’re going to say? (That’s a hard one to break)