Thursday, November 6, 2008

10 - Dominating conversations

So obviously, yesterday's post was a bit of a joke. Some people around me do consider me to be a bit too talkative, but I don't think so. For those that didn't catch on yet, I was delibirately writing a short entry yesterday in protest to these wild accusations. I guess now I'll talk about yesterday's and today's at the same time, as they are somewhat similar.

I find people who talk too much, and people who dominate conversations, both annoying, but of course, only when I'm not the one doing the talking, or the dominating. They're different, but the people who talk too much and the people who overpower others in conversations, both have a set of commonalities: a compulsive uncontrollable need to talk, a fair amount of creativity, some irritability brought about by silence, a dash of pride, and most of all, no awareness whatsoever. I'm glad to say that I have recently tried to cut back on talking more than others.

Just to clarify the difference between the two. When you're around a person that 'talks too much', you participate in the conversation too. It's just that their points are really, really long. You experience a surplus in the amount you'd like to know about them, and it's often what we call 'verbal diarrhea' (...mmm). On the other hand, when you're around a person that 'dominates the conversation', you are incapable of joining in the conversation, because their statements are either very loud, or very bold and almost always interruptive. It's like large, unusual, and abrupt diarrhea.

At rare times though, people will actually listen to a conversational dominator like me, but at other times, they're either:
(1) nodding their head at me every two seconds,
(2) laughing for no reason,
(3) asking me "then what happened?" when I've already finished my story,
(4) falling asleep and if I'm lucky, they'll drool, or
(5) they're staring at me with a blank face, which always makes me incredibly uncomfortable, because I think they're picturing me naked (which I really hope is not true) (and there's that creativity I talked about earlier) (...and pride). As you may observe by this list, conversational dominators can get annoyed at all the incessant nodders, the erratic laughers and the possible perverts too! But we probably deserve it for pressing our own lives on to others so much.

I remember a time where I was on the other end of the conversation spectrum, the end where I get talked over and subdued, that is. Since I couldn't possibly make this guy shut up, I took the liberty to observe him and his 'listeners'. The 'listeners' really do drool. And he really is completely unaware that nobody is listening. He was talking about... cars... or stars... I wasn't really sure. I remember it was boring. I also remember several of us trying to speak up, but he would just go on and on. He just wouldn't listen to any of us. It's like diarrhea all over the place.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, I'm trying to cut back on talking so much. I don't like seeming insensitive and self-involved. It is strange though. Recently, my friends have been calling me up, starting conversations with me online, finding me at school to talk more often. When you shut up, do people finally notice you've been a lil' quiet? In fact, I used to talk so much that I've had people ask me to fill in the silences when topics are lacking. Guess what?

I hate that too, and that's another story.

So do you hate people that dominate conversations? Is it even possible to convince them not to dominate conversations (refer to blog number 5)? Do you consider 'verbal diarrhea' to be a very vulgar phrase? And how are all of you readers out there? Just thought I might ask you all these questions. I wouldn't want to come across as if I'm talking too much, eh?


Douglas said...

You are a keen observer, Michael. A pity as that will make it difficult to keep friends as you notice how annoying their petty little quirks really are.... like that drooling and nodding off. On the other hand, if that person who is visualizing you naked happens to be a pretty lady then why not return the favor? And shut up?

I jest, of course.

J.J. in L.A. said...

How'd you meet my boyfriend? lol! I swear, let him have the floor and he takes the whole building.

Melissa said...

hehe nice one michael ;)
we missed you today, especially at lunch!
noticed a lot of what you're talking about in this blog, it's really quite unbelievable that even while i'm blatantly sharing amused/annoyed looks with other victims of the verbal diarrhea it keeps on coming... the "no awareness" thing you mentioned is so, so true!

Anonymous said...

most of the time it doesn't bother me. I like to talk, but usually I'm the "listener" so I like to keep friends who talk a lot. it makes it interesting I guess. the only time it gets annoying is if I start to say something that I think is important and someone interrupts. that happens to me quite a bit. like yesterday, I was saying something and the girl I was with just started talking over me. I didn't want to stop mid-sentence but I figured I might as well shut up since her voice was louder than mine. I hate that because it's just so rude. it's either they don't hear you because they're so wrapped up in themselves, or they were just ignoring you all together.
otherwise, I think it's good to be able to hold together a conversation. talking too much isn't so much a bad habit, as long as you're not the type that interrupts haha. plus, you have excellent observation skills :]

Tatum Reid said...

In general it doesn't bother me when people talk to much (as I am usually one of those doing the talking). It does however bother me when the talking is meaningless, and go round and round in never ending circles! when your mind is screaming
"I get the point already!" and your physical body keeps nodding and smiling away lol!
Great Blog-Love reading your stuff :)