Going on. Blah blah. There I’ve said it. Yippity-yap. Well I’ve said it many times before.

I don’t mind listening. As a matter of fact I rather enjoy it. I find people likable and interesting enough. There’s a lot of talking on the TV and on the radio and on computers and gadgets, in grocery stores and in churches and out in the streets, throngs of people talking everywhere- anywhere people congregate.

People don’t seem to get along very long being quiet.

That’s my experience anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I myself talk up a good game. I go on and on, often with puffery, sometimes quite eloquently, and do so quite frequently, often til blue in the face and sick of the sound of my voice.Β Give it a rest already would ya?! I do though try and choose and weigh my words and be thoughtful and not waste too much airspace, but do find it more natural and get more joy out of silence. I would say if asked that in the overall scheme of things, most of my time is spent listening.

There’s a lot of talking going on.

The other day someone talked to me for quite a while. Well, “at” me. My disposition and listening skills are such that, I don’t know, I must encourage even more of it. I do draw people out. The evidence speaks. I often say “there must be a red X on my forehead” indicating I will listen to anyone at anytime. It does seem that way. Anyway this cat talked while I listened and he nonstop launched in all different directions, stories about things and people and events of which I didn’t ask, and with nary a shooting glance or pause anywhere for any response or reflection. And like I said it went on for a while. I asked at one point what he thought of the lovely and uncharacteristically dry and brisk sunny spring weather, and he kept talking about some old friend of his from high school who went on about it being his thirty-seventh birthday, then proceeded to tell me about his two degrees and his kids names etc. It was a lot of information! Β I did my courteous nodding, inserted “uh huhs” when appropriate, kept attentive and respectful eye contact and asked relevant, razor-sharp questions.

Nary a pause.

I’m not sure how his high school friend played into things. But anyway, a lot of talking. What did he want from me? Was he gratified by the uh-huhs? My takeaway is I’m not sure how he could take anything away. I mean he only talked at me. Yakety-yak. From where I sat he was only talking to himself.

Seems a lot of that.


15 thoughts on “THERE’S A LOT OF TALKING

  1. I think I have a red X on my forehead as well. Or a magnet. As writers, maybe we do invite it, without really being conscious we’re doing it. It wouldn’t surprise me. Because it gives us insights into people, characters to create and even words to put in their mouths.

    • I do like listening but sometimes it’s odd how many people don’t seem to know how to do it and for me it often feels old. πŸ™‚ But I still carry on! Yes we gather the info no doubt.

    • Yup, that’s the part of this essay I really identified with, too. Sometimes that red X feels like an honor, and sometimes it’s just exhausting. Thanks for the essay, Pete!

  2. I like what fran…said about writers. I bet there’s some truth to that – we write while everyone else speaks. I’d much rather listen than talk, not sure why.

    • I think it’s a skill no doubt and I do like the idea of active listening and drawing others out, but nothing nicer than being quiet with a friend or engaging in conversation with ANOTHER who listens well. πŸ™‚

  3. You are a learner, an observer. A thinker. It just means you’re intelligent. You choose your words, you don’t ramble like most people.

    It makes you balanced and easy-going.

    I respect that in people. I can’t stand people that just ramble on about everything going in their life.

  4. I bet the person who talked “at” you felt he had a wonderful conversation. If you want to shorten the conversation, “talk back.” πŸ™‚

    • Or making a spinning motion with my hands trying to get things wrapped up quickly! Unfortunately often talking back doesn’t work haha That’d be ideal! πŸ™‚

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