Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quiet People

One thing I can't figure out is how to talk to quiet people. You say something and they answer in one word, making absolutely no contribution to the conversation. Or sometimes, they don’t say anything at all, and they just sit there. It’s like talking to yourself, or the wall.

Example: Cameron is in my homeroom. He is the type of person who would be qualified as extremely quiet. I don’t know him that well, but from what I’ve seen and heard, he rarely says anything. There are times when we are the only two people in the homeroom who are in the same grade, and I find it awkward to just sit there and ignore him when we both can’t find anyone to talk to. So I make an effort to have a conversation with him, and goes like this.
I ask him a question, and he says, “Uh...” so quietly I don’t know if there’s sound coming out of his mouth, so I keep talking. Five minutes later, after I ran out of things to blab about, he finally answers my first question. I know, I should give him a chance to talk, but I don’t know if he’s going to respond or not, and I’m guessing most likely not. I’m afraid he’s going to walk away without saying anything, and just pretend we’re not talking. Or worse, sit there, because he feels obligated to, and not say anything. Next time he sees me, he will probably go out of his way to avoid having a conversation with me.

Example 2: I’m talking to my parents during dinner and they just sit there and eat without saying anything to me. Finally I get so annoyed I ask if they’d heard me. They assured me they did. So I ask, “Then why aren’t you saying anything?”
“What do you want me to say?” They would ask me.
I find that very frustrating. Why am I coming up with all the dialogues? I am not having a conversation with myself.

The second type of people I’m talking about are the people who take so respond you assume that they’re not going to.

Example: Me: Do you play badminton Sean?
         Sean (20 seconds later): Yeah.

Why would it take so long for anyone to process a simple question? Before I learned to count to ten and wait for him to answer, I would just blab off about something else and not give him a chance to answer at all. Or I would have thought he was ignoring me, and got pissed off and start yelling his name.

So really, when you’re talking to someone who makes no effort in the conversation, you’re better off talking to the wall. At least you don’t have to think up both sides of the dialogue when you’re talking to the wall.
When you’re talking to someone who doesn’t respond right away, count to ten and give them a chance to process what you’re saying.

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