Today’s Wonder Years was about a funeral and the last lines between the narrator and his Dad were
“Don’t ever die ok?”
Dad smiles and says, “Naaa I am not going to die”
And in the background we hear the narrator. “And for now, that was good enough for me”
I am not planning on coming here everyday and quoting the last 2 liners from The Wonder Years. Hmm or maybe I will 😀 – at least the ones that appeal to me.
For today’s topic I want to talk about talking. There were 2 occasions today which made me think of this whole talking business.
On occasion 1, I was a silent spectator as people around me were engrossed in topic 1 to 100. I involved myself in moving my eyeballs left and right, nodding occasionally, giving out an occasional smile.
In the middle however, I forgot about these little courtesies and went on to imagine the floor splitting apart, cutting the red carpet into 2 and a man rising out of the ground. The man dressed in black came and sat next to me first and said howdy. I took a moment to express shock and then look at others for sharing my shock – that’s how you travel from the first step of imagination to the second step of making it seem real.
The talkers talking of topic 59 didn’t notice my eyeballs stopping the rotation act and now doing some serious shock-expressions. The man looking like a tap dancer who came out of 60’s Hollywood, went on to dance on the living room, mimicking talker 1 and sitting on the head of talker 2. I dumped him back to the ground at a later point when my interest was caught in topic 96.
On occasion 2, I was the talker and I attacked a silent spectator. However unlike the talkers of occasion 1, I was not good with single man shows. I needed more interaction from the other side than moving eyeballs, nods and smiles. Else I immediately start feeling a kind of awkwardness to the extent of feeling guilty for overdoing an act. But the harm was already done and I take sure-to-fail resolutions of talking only when required and ahem, admired 😀
On both these occasions, I realized that any talk only needs one major talker. The other(s) could very well play listeners and imagine men growing from floors. I also realized that all people are not interesting talkers. For though I suffer a bad case of wild imagination, I can hold my eyeballs in action without an effort (that’s the best description I can give of paying attention), with certain talkers. My mother for one. And not just cause we share a bond since my birth. She knows to tell things just the right way, stories just the right length. My Dad, on the other hand, well let’s just say he could do better as an eye-ball director 😀
I wish there was a set of rules or guidelines people could keep for reference. Let me make a humble attempt.
1. When you are saying a point, complete it – don’t start a new story before you finish one
2. You are not alone in the act. A good listener makes a good talker. If you see someone moving their lips, close yours immediately and wait for them to tell their point
3. Use as minimum words and as minimum pauses as possible. Make it sound like a beautiful story people would love to hear word by word. I have to research more to give a detailed picture of this.
4. Be pleasant. Indifference is seldom attractive.
5. Different scenarios need different methods of talking. But make sure you take your tone and words from the no-hurt bag. I would talk more on this. Sorry the entry is too long!
6. Don’t waste each other’s time if any of the involved parties show signs of disinterest.
7. Mean what you say. Empty words belong to no place but thin air.
Explanation of tone and words. For instance, some people believe a good scolding calls for rude tone and harsh words; that talking to the bad shoe in the team calls for a hunter’s spirit. But what they have to realize is this – they are doing the talk not for getting the pleasure of hunting, but to have an effect on the talkee. What is your purpose of talking? You want to talk some sense, you want to tell the person this is not the way to run things around here. And in doing that, you want the person to actually change his ways, not walk away to dump his/her sorrows on alcohol or a few good pillows. So hurting words or insults is out of the question. Take the right approach – put yourself in the culprit’s shoes, guess what they would want to hear, make it as easy for them as possible. If you do a good, polite, understanding, caring, kind-teacher, affectionate-mother kind of talk, your chances of seeing change is ton times more than a really bad scolding. Very likely the talkee would walk away, head down, ashamed of criminal prone deeds, resolving to make a few immediate changes in life.
Be concerned about the purpose, about your self and importantly, about the person you are dealing with.
Ok that’s a hell lot of advice from someone who is still learning to say a whole line without inserting 10 gaps and 20 stammers in between. One of these days, I plan to board on a stage and say “What’s up World?” just the way Bugs Bunny used to ask a certain Doc in town 😀