So there are two kinds of conversationalist’s in the world – the conversation continuers and the conversation blockers. You can immediately find out who is who when you’re meeting someone or texting someone online.
A continuer is someone who meets you and immediately strikes up a conversation, fluidly moving on from one topic to another while leaving you wondering at his or her capability to move the mouth that much. A blocker is someone who literally sets up a verbal block to an otherwise flowing conversation, leaving you fidgeting and awkward and even heartily welcoming the sound of nails dragging across a blackboard to fill up the excruciating silence.
I think I have subtly indicated that I belong to the former category and so I would like to share my pain and humiliation publicly.
A person can be a blocker for many reasons. One, he or she despises you that much that even talking to you is considered a waste of energy or time. Two, is just shy or not a huge talker. Three, is uninterested and wishes you would finish already and four, just a plain, boring person. I think I might have had conversations with all of the above types unfortunately.
At a first-time student trip –
Me: Hi, are you on this trip too? My name’s Swathi, nice to meet you! (wide smile)
Her: Yeah. I’m much older than you. (silence and expectant stare)
(This one I’m sure she didn’t like me or else she thought it the greatest offence that I didn’t show enough courtesy to my elders. Apparently, exchanging pleasantries with a person two years older than you is a sign of disrespect since two years is considered “much”)
While texting a good friend for help in a desperate situation a.k.a ordering pizza –
Me: Hi! what are you up to? Sorry I’m disturbing but by any chance do you have the number for Domino’s? I feel like pizza 🙂
Her: Yeah, I do….. Gotta go. See you soon 🙂
( Seriously, if you have the number then GIVE it! I’m asking, not stating for heaven’s sake. Its not like I’m solely interested in finding out if you are in possession of a chain pizza restaurant’s number. What am I, a private detective for that franchise?)
At a first date in a restaurant –
Him: Lets sit here! (points at table)
(Once we’re seated) Me: This is a beautiful place. But quite hard to find isn’t it.
Him: Yeah (smiles)
Me: I see. Well, you were lucky enough to find a place like this huh? (laughs)
Him: That is true (smiles)
Me: Do you come here often?
Him: No (smiles)
(The likes of the above continued the whole time we were seated there. And HE was the one who asked ME out. I appreciate all the sweet smiles, I really do, and I tried to be quiet to let him speak but all that resulted in was an impasse of all-pervading silence)
Chatting on Facebook with an acquaintance who, I might add, initiated the conversation –
Him: Hi, how are you? You ‘re an avid reader of books right?
Me: Hey, I’m good. Its been so long since we talked! and yeah, I do love reading.
Him: You should read The Orphan Masters Son. We can discuss it.
Me: Oh I already did. It’s a beautiful book and very well researched on. Don’t you just get so horrified but also overwhelmed at the descriptions of all that war propaganda to the North Korean public?
Him: Yes. Totally. (Long pause)
Me: You did read it right?
Him: Yes, I did 🙂
Me: So what did you think?
Him: Was pretty sad.
Me: I for one loved it though.
Him: Yeah, me too.
(Was I the one who wanted to discuss the book? Or does discussion mean only one person talking? This kind of conversation is a very good example of a conversation starter who turns a blocker in the end. Maybe I should add this category to my kinds of conversationalist’s in the world)
Anyway, being a conversation continuer is not cool if you end up being annoying and over-talkative. I am well aware and I try to hone it down and listen. But, honestly sometimes patience does get pushed when conversation does not ensue for an incredibly long time. Which ultimately is awkward for both parties involved. I need to try harder at being patient I guess. Maybe carry around a sound recording of nails dragging on a blackboard would be a good idea.