Shut Up And Listen!

Pinky: “so I was saying that we should start with..”

Tina: “and did I tell you that he sent me flowers?”

Pinky: “yes you did, 3 times already. so we should start with …”

Tina : “and he even sent me those expensive dark chocolates, the imported ones.”

Pinky : “ohh.. that’s nice. Now should we start with our…”

Tina : “and he has asked me to not share it with anyone. *giggles* “possessive idiot I tell you” *giggles some more*

Pinky-: …

Tina : *still lost in daydream about her possessive idiot*

Pinky : …

Tina: what? Why aren’t you speaking? Say something. You never talk. Why are you so quiet all the time?

And that is how, my friend ,Tina and Pinky’s 2 years of friendship drowned in the imported chocolate gifted by Tina’s boyfriend.

Don’t even deny, we all have a TINA in our lives who never lets you speak. They go on and on and on about themselves and they just don’t listen to what you have to say until and unless you keep quiet and wait for them to complain about why you are so quiet.

Lets just say these people love to talk. Not about what Rinky did or how Monu proposed to Chinky, but about themselves. They love to talk about themselves.They wont let you speak until they get the satisfaction that their word has been heard and until they have got the required reaction from you.  If not, then they will repeat the same thing again and again until the aforementioned is accomplished.

Some people like to call them the “me –me people” They love it when the spotlight is on them.  these people talk about themselves because they genuinely think they’re more interesting than anyone else they know.

And while having conversation with them, there are high chances that while you are telling them something, they are only waiting for you to shut up so they can continue with their stories. Some of them wont even wait for you to finish.

A recent research by some Berozgar people have revealed that 95% of the time “me-me” people have nothing to talk about but gossip. Retelling their own little stories of what they did on weekend or how much time it took them to decide what to wear or even what the conversation with their “shona babu” was like , detailed with the emojis used after each message.

It is important to create a balance between talking and listening. If you keep on talking or just keep on listening then that is, in no way an effective two-way communication. Some people though, forget about this balance and needs a constant reminder.

They are the kind of people who ask you “what did you do all summer?” and before you can utter a word, they start with their own stories of what they did.

Here are some ways to deal with such people-

  • Reaction These people only want to get all “omg”s ,” seriously?” ,”wow”,”that’s so cool”,”you are so lucky man” out of you. They want the attention, they want to be heard, they want you to sympathize with them. It’s either give it all or give them none of it.

It completely depends on

  1. if that person is talking sense ; and
  2. how much that person gets on your nerves.

If the intensity is high, then NOT reacting the way they expect is the best thing to make them mad and shut them up for once. If the intensity is low then you can give them the desired reaction which will probably work faster and then you can apologize to your ears for bearing this kind of trauma.

  •  Nod your way through it- if they are gossipers and you love to gossip too, then its all good, but  if you are least interested in knowing who did what to whom then simply NOD. As humans we are well-trained in recognizing the appropriate parts in a conversation to nod , even when we are not listening, so use that to your rescue and be your own knight in shining armor. This way you wont hurt their feelings and simultaneously make them feel heard.

  •  ”hmm” them– how many times have you been in an awkward conversation which awkwardly ends with “hmm”? And how many times have YOU been the one ending the conversation this way?

We all are guilty of this. As Indians we have evolved to take the word , “hmm” as an acceptable way to reply to almost everything. There are times when we just don’t know what to say and this word is what comes to our escape.

When trapped in a situation where the person infront of you does not shut up and gossips all the time, then  HMM them while throwing the not-so- useful stuff out the other ear.

  • Change the topic -if its been over 15 minutes and you are tired of being a good listener and if the person in front of you is screaming “GIVE ME ATTENTION” , then
  1.  don’t give it to them; and
  2. change the topic by saying “accha wo toh theek hai but tell me….”

In Indian language we call this “bhaw nai dena” which I have mastered in since I am surrounded by people who think my talks are not worth listening to.( which probably is true I guess since all I talk about is books and bands, and they are interested in neither)

  • Raise your hand – if none of the above works and they still don’t let you talk or shut up or listen to you, then raise your hand just like in school when a student interrupts a teacher to say something. But BEWARE because a lot of people will hi five you and then continue with their chat anyway.

P.s – If you can NOT relate with any of it then I am sorry but the chances are that you are probably one of them.

Komal was telling Tina about her weekend when she got “hmm-ed”. Now she is planning to take a 3 month course on ‘ effective communication’. Let her know your thoughts . (provided she gives you a chance to speak).

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