Listening Is So Last Season!

17 May

Obviously!

 

 

Let’s discuss a pandemic effecting our friendships nationwide. Oftentimes our friends have to move all over the Country, so it’s only logical that we keep in contact with them through one of the thousands of ways made possible to us through technology. Whether it’s old school and you use the phone,  or prefer email, Facebook, Twitter, video chat and the like.

If you’re like me, you may have noticed that  several of your friends love the sound of their own voice a tremendous amount. These friends, who would marry their voice if it was legal and that statement made any sense, tend to get you on the phone and do several things:

1. The bait and switch:

Here, a friend may ask you how you’ve been, what you’re doing or what’s new? As soon as you get three words out of your mouth, they find ONE word and take on the conversation.

For example:

Them: “How’s your dog? Still in the hospital?”

Me: “Oh, he’s doing well. He was given some strong medication-” ”

Them: “OH I just got some medication too for this thing that’s been going on. I’m not sure what it is but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Expect this to go on for the next 30 to 40 minutes. I suggest speaker phone and a TV show on mute.

2. The “I feel for you” fake out:

This is where a friend may ask you a more in-depth question they know will get you talking.

Them: “Anything new with your live in paraplegic boyfriend Jim and his pet monkey?”

It would appear, said friend would LOVE for you to engage in a lengthy conversation regarding your poor, handicapped boyfriend Jim. No, NO I say! At this juncture in the conversation, your friend is anxious to jump in; like when you buy something from a candy machine and jump the gun, trying to open the bottom slot and wind up jamming and mushing the candy between the slot and your hand. It’s just no good. PATIENCE. Why ask me a question you care nothing about?

People should just get on the phone and say… “I know I called you to pretend I care about what you have to say…but really, I just want to bore YOU to death with all my stories and self-absorbed crap.” Because a conversation is like anything else….give and take. Plus, generally, you should CARE about who you’re talking to and what they have to say. Why fake it? Seems silly.

The jump in would look like this:

Them: “Anything new with your live in paraplegic boyfriend Jim and his pet monkey?”

You: “Well, Trevor is trying to potty train it because-”

Them: “AWW! I know when my boyfriend, Micah, tried to potty train HIS monkey…it was like, so hard. But just bribe him with bananas. That’s what works!”

You: “Trevor, sadly, has a banana allergy…so-”

Them: “NO WAY. He’s a monkey! That’s impossible! I’m telling you, it works!”

This can go on for some time..it’s best to cut it off ASAP. It’s like their word is gospel and should be treated as such. This can also tie in greatly with the competition factor…

3. The competitor

Number two essentially covered the basics. This is similar with one minor tweak. Anything you say, they have a reply for. They’ve done what you’ve done and THEN some and they have no issue letting you know what’s up.

Nothing you do will be impressive…ever. Mainly because whatever hardship you’ve gone through, theirs has been worse. Whatever pain, heartbreak, happiness, success…they will trump you every time.

For these types of friends, I suggest placating them. “Oh, yes! Poor you! Awesome you! GOOD FOR YOU!”

It is the only way to calm the beast.

These people get a big YIKES from me. Listening and communication skills are a fundamental foundation for relationships and friendships alike!  What has happened to our society, so dependent on social media and hell-bent on NOT communicating and building foundations that are so VITAL to forging lasting relationships ( whether it be school, work, relationship, friendship, etc).

Communication skills… “GET YOU SOME!” 

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