Winning Friends and Influencing People

It’s not that I don’t understand your social cues – I do. I see that you’ve shown me when you’re bored, irritated or uncomfortable. I get that somehow the conversation is or has become a drag you’d rather not deal with. Whether it’s looking away, rolling your eyes, facing away, excessive sighing, repetition of filler phrases out of sync with the rythm of the conversation, not answering at all, saying things out of context or off topic, or the classic pull out your phone and directly ignore me to my face, I really do get it. I know that you’ve lost or never had interest. I can tell, I see it, I can dig it.

Seeing your dissatisfaction is not my issue at all – nor is it an issue that you’re dissatisfied. I am perfectly glad for you to feel it and express that feeling to me with no uncertainty.

If you began speaking to me there’s generally some level of connection between us, no matter how tenuous it may be. There’s probably a reason you would choose to interact with me in the outset. So let’s say the reason has dwindled or left us, you could quite feasibly end the interaction and move on, releasing us both from the burden of socialization. Now let’s say you don’t care to end the interaction, but have shown me your very obvious signs of displeasure.

Please, feel free to take the initiative to change the topic or bring up a new one. I’d be happy to learn what you would prefer to discuss or prefer not to discuss, because it makes it a whole lot easier to engage you. I’d be glad to know what you’d rather be doing so I know which direction to go. If you were to suggest or even imply a desire, I’d probably entertain it. Your topics and experiences, your plans and dreams have just as much place as anyone else’s.

But no one can talk about your topic, join your activity or engage you without knowing what you’d like. If you don’t let others know what you’d rather be doing, how would we ever know what to try? I try to meet people halfway, to see things eye-to-eye. I want to get a feel for what they’re into and what really interests them. I’m to trying to give you your due and some undivided attention.

So, how is it up to others to keep you interested in the conversation anyway? When did it become everyone else’s job to make sure the topic was one that constantly entertains you or even speaks to what you like? Besides, I can’t seem to understand, when did you get to a place where the only time you’re having fun is when someone else pries out of you what exactly you want and gives it to you unconditionally, then vanishes to allow you unhindered enjoyment?

And why aren’t you running around trying to find out what the other person would like to talk about? Why aren’t you looking to avoid what others don’t care for? When did you think it would be your turn to participate in pleasing others? How is it that you can show us all how indequate this experience has been without any modicum of effort on your part to mitigate that?

Of course this experience isn’t satisfying for you, you aren’t bringing yourself to be a part of it.

Give it a chance, bring something up, be bold and suggest a topic!


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