Competition Conversation

Oh, it pains me to realize I am stuck in a conversation involving multiple people who are so insecure they have to compete with stories…

If you have traveled to *here, they have traveled to *there…if you had the *party of the year, they have attended a greater *party…if you relate a personal *story of great drama and emotion, don’t worry your fellow converstaionalist can top that *story.

Grow up people!  Enjoy each others stories and personal experiences and don’t feel that you have been ‘outdone’ by a fellow “rivalry” vying for the attention of your peers in the group.

Being caught in this kind of group conversation is painful.  Usually everyone else will eventually become silent or try to leave as the 2 or possibly 3 (but 3 is usually destructive) people climb and claw, verbally battling their way to the top of the conversation only to realize no one cares to hear their selfish portrayal of ‘story toppers’ and by now they have realistically convinced the ‘loser’ the winner is the real loser, because they have won exactly what they didn’t want…and audience of none.

Congratulations!  You selfish, competitive, non-hearing insecure person!  You have successfully dominated the ‘greatness’ of the art of meaningful conversation and reduced it to whatever it is you want people to hear, even though no one is left behind to hear it…Yes, you have won!  Enjoy your rewards and try to remember if anyone Else’s sharing has sunk in to your ‘person’ to help make you a more listening, understanding, caring person…

Or maybe you are the one trying to escape from day to day, like me.  I sometimes feel or know I have greater stories to share, advice to help, and encouraging words to share…but I won’t share it, I will try to listen and gleen from this other person so I can practice HOW NOT TO BE a person who can only feel successful by hearing their own voice.

Debates are debates, arguments are hostile, I like good meaningful conversation by those who can have it, not dominate it.

Some practical advice to change this behavior?  Well it can be derived from a proverb or even from scripture in a Proverb from the Bible, but maybe best said and recognized from an everyday saying – (paraphrased)

Better a fool that keeps his mouth shut, than a fool that opens it and removes all doubt.

I try to practice this myself.  If I feel I have nothing significant to contribute to a conversation I become part of it by listening for what may be interesting or significant to me, or maybe its just because I care and want to hear about other peoples lives.

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Child Psychology on Adults – Part 1

Remember a time when a child (maybe one of your own?) kept asking you why?

Adult:  Don’t touch that

Child:  Why?

Adult:  Because I said so

Child:  Why?

Adult:  Because it will hurt you

Child:  Why?

Adult:  Its dangerous

Child:  Why?

Adult:  I DON’T KNOW – IT WAS MADE THAT WAY!!!

Child:  Why?

Adult: Argh…&*$%…

So now lets apply it to an adult doing something wrong or stupid and see how long it takes the other person to -

a)  Realize what they are doing really is wrong or stupid by the time they get down to the ‘core’ of the “Why?” game or …

b)  they become furious and angry which makes them lose all sense of intelligence temporarily anyway.

Adult 1:  Why do you drink so much

Adult 2:  It makes me feel good

Adult 1:  Why?

Adult 2:  I don’t know?

Adult 1:  Why?

Adult 2:  Geez, I guess cause it relaxes me

Adult 1:  Why?

Adult 2:  I suppose its got the properties of a drug to do that

Adult 1:  Why?

Adult 2:  BECAUSE ITS A DEPRESSANT!  ALRIGHT?!?!?!

Adult 1: Why?

…..

See where this leads?  Anger and frustration soon bring furry and dim the intelligence and/or the truth is revealed which is…the person actually knows that what they are doing is really not good for them.

Since when is a depressant a good way to relax and feel good?  Kind of a contradiction of terms.

BUT this is only an example, it can be used in almost any situation such as this.  See how long you can play the child’s “Why? Game” on some of your adult friends before they go crazy or reveal their own stupidity.

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Can you hear?

You:  Hello, my name is so-and-so and I need this-and-that.

Me:  I’m sorry, I can’t answer/acquire/approve (…etcetera) that.

You:  Oh, well I can’t seem to get someone who can, [this is the part where they proceed to give you the long version of why they need what they need] what do you think about that?

Me:  As I said, I can’t help you (Can you hear?)…I am not authorized for that.  And I wouldn’t want to say what I think about it, because that would not be my area to speculate in.

Why do people insist on telling you the long version of a problem you can’t solve for them even after you have told them you don’t have the right and/or the authority to help them in their endeavors…then later if they do cajole you into a speculated answer (after you have told them its only your opinion and not a permission) they try to use you as the scapegoat later when they get caught doing something without a proper confirmation from the appropriate people?

And then they get mad at you.

Thanks, I was happy minding my own business when your impatient ‘emergency’ produced a hatred for me when I could not help you.  Yeah, sure…I can see how that would be my fault.

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Blowing Smoke

SO I go to this ‘company’ meeting the other day where the ‘inspirational’ part of the meeting consists of a member of management talking about our experience.

Look around the room, we have years of combined experience and know-how to tap into…we must remember to use the resources that are already here!  That are already in this room!  Wow!  We really have it good!  Years of experience right here in our own company at our fingertips to use anytime we need to…!!!

Yesterday I hear that my bosses boss is talking about bringing someone in from the outside that we can consult on how to do our job more effectively (even though said person they will hire from the outside does not effectively fit, or know how our niche in this biz even works!).

I have been telling them for years how they could improve things in order to do them effectively (and those ideas are collecting dust somewhere or composting), but they don’t seem to take us serious until they start blowing smoke about how great we are and how important we are to them when they are ‘burning’ us out while trying to get the best results out of us without actually doing anything or spending any money.

Whew…And they wonder why I get an attitude and accuse them of not paying attention to their own people, THEY DON’T EVEN LISTEN OR PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR SELVES!

As much smoke as they blow I could start a BBQ Restaurant or be a Smoke Duck supplier to Asian eateries.  Slather down those ribs boys…another meeting is about to start!!!

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