A Word in Edgewise

There are some people who you can barely get two words out of and then there are others who just jibber jabber away non-stop. Of course, there are always those in between on the spectrum of silent spectators to chatterboxes. What’s debatable is one’s awareness of where exactly it is that they fall on the continuum. I, personally, can go from one extreme to the other true to my Gemini nature. Sometimes, I am synonymous with my handle of ‘JibberJabber with Sue’ on WP, yet in other instances, I can become uber quiet and introspective—“aloof and hard to read” apparently. I’m okay with both of those things as they reflect different aspects of my personality. Of course, many of us likely take turns on different ends of the line depending on the situation, the people involved, etc.

The spectrum of talkers and non-talkers certainly creates some interesting conversations, which usually implies an exchange of words between two or more people. Of course, I’ve been known to have many a conversation with myself (yes, both asking and answering) and my husband and I are each famous for our fake conversations. You know the kind—the ones where the ‘right’ words escaped you at the time, but if you could go back and re-do your talk with another, it would go down VERY differently. As both a participant and an observer, I’ve noticed that many folks are willing to talk, but not as willing to listen, I mean really listen. In fact, most of us are guilty of formulating our next thought while the other is talking keeping the conversation either somewhat superficial or one-sided. Unfortunately, I think a lot of conversations tend to go this way. Less so these days it seems that there is an equal balance of asking and answering, talking and listening. Yet, at the heart of it, everyone wants to feel heard which can be problematic relationship and friendship-wise.

Sometimes, I wonder if the being heard part more or less translates to a desire for some to simply hear themselves speak. I mean, we all do it at times. We all contemplate and rationalize and wonder. Some people just tend to do it more out loud whereas others tend to do so more in their head. Neither is right or wrong necessarily. We are who we are. Of course, social media platforms have taken one’s voice to a whole other level, haven’t they? In some cases, that’s a good thing; in other cases, not so much so as I’ve written about before, but let’s leave it at that for now. Instead, let’s see if you can relate to any of the following ‘live’ scenarios…

For starters, I’m sure we’ve all been on the receiving end of exchanges wherein we can hardly get a word in edgewise. It’s as if the person on the other end has been deprived or devoid of being heard for days, weeks or even months. They appear to be in a race against time to get in as many words as they possibly can before being forced to take a breath in which instance you might ‘interrupt’ and say something in return. Then, there are those cases when the person/people with whom you are talking pretend to be interested, but their glossed over expressions, eye rolling, watch/phone glancing or rigid body language says otherwise. Again, I’m sure that we’ve all been privy to a lot of those situations and I, for one, will ashamedly admit to having done each of the aforementioned things myself. Never on purpose, but I’d be lying if I’d said that I have never behaved that way. I try to be aware of the energy or vibe that I’m giving off, I’m just not always good at hiding if I’m feeling off myself which certainly plays a role in things. And let’s face it, some people are simply not as engaging, or we are not as interested in them as we are in others which can certainly change depending on many factors. There are also circumstances when it seems like you have to pull teeth just to get an answer or a sentence out of someone to the point where it’s best to just ‘end’ the conversation, since it’s not really a back and forth type of thing and requires more effort than its worth.

When it comes down to it, our conversation style or styles definitely reflect aspects of who we are at any given time. If we aren’t getting what we want out of our exchanges/relationships, it might just be worth examining where exactly it is that we fall on the continuum of chattiness versus crickets chirping? Are you more of a talker or a listener and in what situations do you find yourself doing more of one than the other—when you are mad, lonely, frustrated, happy, etc.? Would you have a conversation with yourself if you were someone else or would you tend to avoid them? Maybe your answer to that question will surprise even you?! 😉

One thought on “A Word in Edgewise

  1. I have been with people who want to talk, but they wind up going on and on so it becomes a monologue. At that point, yup–let the eye roll begin! They just needed an audience–there was never going to be any actual ‘talk’ on my part.
    Oh, I used to joke with people and say, ‘Give me a couple days and I’ll have a snappy comeback.” Ha! The aggravation when the right words elude you……glad it’s not just me.

    Liked by 1 person

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