Can You Hear Me Now?

Published by in life
11th Aug 2006

I have a tendency to be very quiet, too quiet, some would say. But I’ll tell you something about quiet people like me. If we did not exist on this Earth, the talkative people would go nuts. They’d never be able to hold a conversation because they never stop talking. The world would be a mass of confusion filled with people all standing around talking at once. It would be the Tower of Babel all over again.

That’s why people like me exist, to nod our heads like bobble dolls and say, “uh-huh” once in a while, so the talkers of the world, can keep their train of thought on track. I once knew a talker who, if I did not say, “uh-huh” every few minutes in his monologue, he would nudge me with his elbow to wake me up. They don’t need actual participation in the conversation, they just want occasional affirmations that you’re still alive.

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I don’t have an outgoing personality, actually it’s more of an incoming one. I take it all in and save it up for future use. I have trouble understanding people who are outgoing, because they are so different from myself. But at least I have a friendly face. Outgoing people navigate toward me even if they’ve never seen me before in life. They can recognize a listener when they see one, and to a talker there’s nothing more important than finding a good listener in the next ten seconds.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do talk, just not frequently. I have an easier time “talking” with my fingers on a keyboard. I can say anything then and not get interrupted or ignored. Being ignored is a common problem with us listeners, because we’re usually so quiet that when we do have something important to say, the talkers are so disbelieving that it takes them ten minutes just to wake up that there’s a new voice in the crowd.

It’s like that old, old question, “if a tree fell in a forest and no-one was around to hear it, would it make a sound?” If I were in a room full of talkers all talking at once, and one of them paused to take a breath, (talkers only breathe once every five minutes) and I swooped in to say something during that pause, would anyone hear me? No. Listeners are the inaudible people, seen but not heard. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s not our lips that talkers want to see, it’s our ears.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen! Lend me your ears! Obviously that was a statement written by a born talker because no listener will ever ask for your ears. A born listener is the contented soul who sits alone on a couch at a party smiling like Mona Lisa while the burble of a thousand conversations relaxes her into a stupor. Eventually a born talker will look around in desperation, spot the lone listener, and zero in like a smart bomb on the target. Then she bobbles her head, and says, “uh-huh, uh-huh” and the world goes on for the talker who was just inches away from self-destruction from unnatural silence.

I think I’m glad to be a listener rather than a talker, because I get the better end of the deal. Sure, the opposite sex thinks I’m just “one of the guys” because they all come to me to talk guy talk, but at least I don’t have to run around in a panic, yelling, “can you hear me now??”

  • G

    nice post! Very relatable for me.

  • Wendy

    This is me to a T! I am very happy being a listener because at least when I do talk, it isn’t crap!! Nice post.