Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Talkative Friend

And so we continue our series of Friends With Hangups.  We will be examining The Talkative Friend for tonight's blogisode.  (Kind of like episode, but for blogs.)

The Talkative Friend never saw a conversation he did not enjoy.  While he probably likes to hear about your life, that typically doesn't happen unless you are in the mood for a talk-fest race.  For some reason, this friend is completely uncomfortable with the slightest pause in your conversation. 

There are, however, a few advantages to having lots of The Talkative Friends:

1.  You really don't ever have to think of a topic for conversation.
2.  If you are quiet long enough, it's amazing what you can learn about their life.  And, depending on The Talkative Friend, possibly everyone else's life.
3.  If you are quiet long enough, you may also get to see the stangest of all phenomenas for The Talkative Friend.  I call it the Suffering Succotash Suffocation.  It's basically when The Talkative Friend is allowed to continue talking unchecked by anyone else's input.  Eventually, they begin to get light-headed, and may soon pass out.  What happens is they basically don't breathe enough and soon pass out from a self-induced artificial suffocation.  As soon as they pass out, they resume breathing, so there's no real health worries.  Unless, of course, they talk in their sleep. could have a problem.  Here's a video of a potential candidate of Sufferin' Succotash Suffocation.

4.  If you're in a room full of people you don't know, you can scan the room and easily find The Talkative Friend.  He's the one that everyone is listening to while trying to escape to the other side of the room.  However, he can provide just the cover you need until you feel comfortable talking to others.  Plus, some kind-hearted soul may rescue you from his verbal embrace and you may gain a new, true friend.
5.  You can actually perform scientific experiments on The Talkative Friend and they will not even notice.  For instance, you could track the exact amount of time that The Talkative Friend will allow to pass before resuming their conversation with you.  You can even pull your stop-watch out and be obvious about it.  They probably won't even notice.  Once you know the exact time involved, you can then time your responses a micro-second before and watch what happens with the verbal head-on collisions.

Benefits notwithstanding, I have often wondered about The Talkative Friend.  I tend to be quieter by nature.  One of the reasons I am this way is that I don't think you really care about what I ate for lunch, or the loaf of bread I bought, or the store I went to.  Unless something cool, funny, or interesting happened, of course.  But, for me, going to Safeway to pick up a loaf of bread or gallon of milk is just not that exciting the first time around.  Let alone telling it to you the second time.  And I am convinced you would feel the same way.  And yet, the talkative friend will gladly share all of these details and more.  I think it's because when you never quit talking, it's hard to come up with new material WITHOUT resorting to daily mundane activities.

And, it's actually interesting- I don't usually mind hearing about them, unless I'm in a hurry or something.  But what is the point?  Is silence really that bad?  What are we scared is going to fill the silence if we don't fill it with chatter?

I say we, because I think all of us are infected to a lesser degree than The Talkative Friend by the need to not have long, awkward pauses in our conversation. 

I have heard that one of the marks of a true friend is someone you can just sit with in silence and both of you be comfortable in that moment.

So, what do you think?  Do you mind The Talkative Friend?  Do you maybe like not having the pressure of maintaining your end of the conversation?  Any suggestions out there?  Do you think the 'silence test' is a good test of true friendship?

Let me know.

-The Poor Husband  (Being quiet now to hear your thoughts)

*Here's a bonus video of another fast talker.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I am an excellent listener and consequently many people come to me for advice. I have a few Talkative Friends that really amount to one-sided friendships. I don't mind listening to them and I have accepted that they are not likely to pause and ask me many questions. I think they miss out on a richer friendship because of this. The friends that I count as my closest are indeed those who are OK with silence. Sometimes just being together is enough!


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