I had a chance to go to a huge party Saturday night, but I decided I wasn’t very much on my social game, and that a simple one-on-one conversation would be better suited for the day I should have after a long week, so I made plans for a drink with someone instead.
Well, so much for being on my social game.
It was my first time meeting this guy. I figured, smart conversation and some drinks, a nice mellow time, right?
And maybe that’s how it would’ve felt if I could have gotten a word in edgewise. But I didn’t. So, no, not so nice, not so mellow.
While I’m often excessively articulate and pretty quick-thinking about it, I go through phases where I’m thinking more than speaking, and when I do talk, I’m a bit more measured and slow about it. I often like to do crazy things, like think before I speak, so I’ve been known to take something like 5-10 seconds to formulate my comment.
But apparently hesitation kills and no one should be allowed such time before speaking, if my night was any measure of that. My drinks-date interrupted me every single time I spoke. Not once could I naturally finish my thought. Every. Single. Time. I even got pissed off now and then at him interrupting, and CONTINUED speaking, despite him not stopping his interruption. Still, didn’t take the hint. I even said, “You talk too much” and made a couple comments that way, and, nope, didn’t slow him down a stitch.
And then the other thing was, any thing I did manage to say, he either turned it into a statement about him and his life, or else he just flat-out said he didn’t like my opinion. (I said, “I want to go to New York soon” and he goes, “I hate New York, it’s all concrete.” Well, I’m not fucking visiting there for a park, now, am I, when I live in a rainforest surrounded by ocean, mountains, and amazing land? Like New York’s competing with THAT? I’m going for a concrete jungle and “the city that never sleeps”. Fuck. Stop making me justifty myself.)
I gradually just stopped giving a shit and phoned the conversation in. Why fucking bother? Like anything I said mattered anyhow? Every time I spoke, I was interrupted, or informed that my opinion wasn’t at all correct. Way to make a companion feel like they matter and have something to contribute, huh?
I wanted to bitch-slap myself yesterday when I realized I was doing the story-trumping thing myself. You know, say someone goes, “I just climbed a mountain!” and you go, “Wow. Which one? Oh, I’ve climbed that seven times. It’s pretty shitty. Next time you should–” and it’s all right when we do that once or twice, it happens, right? But I think I did it a few times yesterday and I thought, “Wow, you arrogant cunt. Shut up.” So I shut up and listened then on.
This guy needs that inner voice to do a little shouting, methinks.
The irony of all this is, I recognize I’ve become too internal and too into myself of late, so I’ve been working to try and make myself a better listener and a more measured and gracious speaker. I was never, ever as bad as this fellow is, but it certainly serves as a reminder of why I’m trying to take myself to a new level as far as the give-and-take of conversation goes.
If people tell you that you talk too much, you probably do. Maybe you should listen.
If you like interrupting people because you think what you have to say is so brilliant, maybe you need to understand that it’s rude and it’s offensive, and it’s essentially saying to people, “I don’t give a shit what you have to say, because I’m wittier and better than you.”
Next time I want to feel not smart enough or not appreciated, I know who to call.
But, you know, I’m gravitating toward people who know how to make others feel appreciated and liked. It feels good. Who knew?