Friday, August 26, 2005

Look who's talking!

I always thought that the art of making conversation is something everyone is born with. After all, how hard can it be to actually listen to another person, keep an open mind and respond accordingly? But I've realized that it is VERY difficult. There are some who are natural conversation killers. You can have three kinds of conversations:
- The person you're talking to actually understands what you're talking and responds relevantly. This is the ideal case.
- The person doesn't understand what you're saying but *thinks* that he/she understands. Half the time, they don't want to really see the meaning of what you're saying; they just want everything that you say to fit into their image of you. This conversation is bound to lead you nowhere because you'll hit a firewall called Presumptuous Ignorance. Most Customer Support people and many relatives belong to this set.
- The third variety is totally hopeless. The conversation is like one of those Shakespearean asides. Except instead of it being an "aside", unwary onlookers will be made scapegoats of this sudden eloquence. The topic will usually be tangential to the ongoing discussion. These people are totally untouched by the likes/dislikes/opinions/boredom of the crowd because they think the world should know of their brilliance. Telemarketers and a few pedantic, pompous specimens are an obvious example.

I am sure all of us get into each of those robes once in a while as our mood, context and surroundings dictate; but some people are permanently stuck in one particular type. I don't know which one is more irritating: the second or the third. Category 2 people are usually the insufferable know-alls of this world with tinted corneas. No matter what you say or do, they'll get you exactly wrong and propagate that wrong perception to the world. The third can be kind of amusing at times if you have the right sense of humour...:) You can tune off when you want to. When you return, you can give a vague smile and nod and they will be perfectly satisfied because all they wanted was an audience for a monologue!
But all in all, I've found that 95% of the conversations we have is utter nonsense because there is no giving, receiving and understanding. We stand from our own comfortable vantage points and try to get a view of everything right from where we stand; If something doesn't come into view, we simply ignore it. Jeez, what a boring prat I've become! And I wonder how many will be putting me in Category 2 or 3...:) So which one are you?


TJ said...

I am not getting the complete sense of the categorization. The first two and the last one is are a bit differen ?!?[The formers being defined on a second person point of view].

The ideal first one, is of 0 probabiltiy, since Words are limits of thoughts [from Kasturi's blog ;)] and not expressive.

The second and third are infact dangerous lot, can land in trouble.

There is this passive conversations, when it is done only to kill time, and one of the parties are clearly disinterested. Like a mid teen boy and an aunty at a marriage ;)

Zeppelin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zeppelin said...

yo ! amazing post...

dont know where I stand... according to some of my buddies I am a category 1 fella... but general opinion - dunno !

You said -- But all in all, I've found that 95% of the conversations we have is utter nonsense because there is no giving,receiving and understanding. -- and got me thinking about the song from 'may
madham' - பார்வை இரண்டும் பேசிக்கொண்டால், பாஷை ஊமை ஆகிவிடுமோ ?

There are sometimes when we are with our parents,best friends, and so those times, just a glance says it all.. dunno if this is related to ur blog but just crossed my mind after reading yours..


Arvind said...

Yes lets us all keep quiet - till, the sound of bee wakes us up !

Ram said...

i somehow believe that all conversations give one thing or another out about one's personality. nice classification u've got there. There's a 4th type wherein one person talks about something trivial(to the listener, that is) and the other person isnt really keen to know what it's about(after listening to the first few statements attentively and classifying the talk as trivial) and just nods and smiles deliberately to keep the speaker happy. I happen to fall there a lot of times when my mind's thinking about something else and a lil friendly banter is the last thing it wants...but when i have my mind free of other thoughts, i fall under type 1.

kishan said...

Very nice post. Thinking of myself I dont think I belong to any of those categories...hmm, most of the time I dont talk with anyone..(really..) unless I find the real need to. But once in a while I come under category 2 or 3, which I realise after a while, and just regret about it.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of conversation...

The exchanges between Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and Vincent Vega (Johm Travolta) at Jack Rabbit's slim restaurant in Pulp Fiction is what I call an interesting conversation. I would post them here but for the R rating....


Subha said...

Not sure what you mean by the last one being different..again, this is just my own amateur classification..:) Probably is quite silly and wrong..

Quite understand what you mean..speaking through glances is the best! I've found that sometimes, when I am really tired/bored, I don't even have to communicate that verbally to my friends..they just understand on their own..
Hmm..I'd put you in Category 1..:)

Subha said...

yay for that! :)

minimal ego,
I'd put that kind of a person in Category 3. Yes, usually conversations reveal something about a person. But I wouldn't always rely on it. People have so many layers..*sigh*..u never know when they speak from their heart or when they talk for the crowd...The clever listener usually finds out peeling the layers of untruths.

Subha said...

I've heard that not talking builds your energy reserves..:) Good for you!

believe it or not, I've not watched Pulp Fiction. I started watching it when I was way too young to understand and it didn't make too much sense to I ignored the movie..:( That, with Amores Perres, makes your movie recommendations to me two..Should try to catch up.

Anand Ramamoorthy said...

I probably appear to belong to different conversational categories according to different people. some think I may be type 1( this is a rare case), maybe type 2 or type three as well. I agree with your point on relatives.
btw you missed the Krishna Jayanthi post on my blog..


Prabu Karthik said...


i have seen guys r especially put off by chatterboxes.

listening is the most important factor and obviously very difficult. its a great way to strike rapport.

but enna sila samayam rathiri 1 manikku phone la sondha kadhai soga kadhai ellam ketka vendirukkum

ada-paavi!!!! said...

conversatoin ikku ivloav analysisa??

well i tink i am bad wit convrsations larglely because i find it hard to start one or contine one, i always prefer listenin to ppl yappin, esp vetti and jobless ppl yap! but 2 much yappin is bad.

thennavan said...

"95% of the conversations we have is utter nonsense" - this is looking even better than the 80:20 principle :-)

Prabhu said...

"jeez, what a boring prat i have become" - 95% of the time naan itha thaan ninachuppen :)

പാപ്പാന്‍‌/mahout said...

What you have written about coversations applies equally well to the comments in the blogs :-)

Just like any form of art has two owners (the artist who derives pleasure in creating the piece, and the "consumer" (viewer/listener) who gets pleasure in enjoying it), any conversation also has two potential beneficiaries -- the talker and teh "talkee". When the talker and the talkee match in their resonance, you have an enjoyable conversation.

[Now, where did I just put myself into -- cat 2 or 3 :-( ]

Subha said...

listening romba important least, oru conversation-la solrathukku relevant-a onnum illaina, vaayai thirakkaama irukkalaam..:) Adhai kooda niraiya per panna maattaanga..

Will check out your Krishna Jayanthi post..I've been behindhand with reading blogs of late.

Subha said...

conversation-ku dhaan ivlo analysis kudukkanum..:) Cuz half the time, we are engaged in talking! Thanks for stopping by.

Subha's Law nu publish pannalaam nu irukken.:)


Nee oru boring prat nu neeye ninaichuppiya..parava illai, therinjunda seri..LOL

For purposes of commenting, I think we can omit the categorization..:) Welcome to my blog.

Kishan said...

Category 3 fits exactly to the technical interviews that i have been attending lately.

I think someone mentioned abt pulp fiction.. somewhere in this discussion....Iam also a big fan of that one..I used to watch it once in every 15 days..Quentin Rocks anyway..