In the Scheme of Things …

Small talk with little substance…”bears no fruit” with casual acquaintances, groups or strangers.

small-talk

There was a study that someone conducted in regard to the attention span of the average listener.  It concluded after 25 seconds if the listeners had no interest in what you were saying… they tuned you out and were no longer listening.  (I am sure that I have made a lot of 25 second speeches without knowing it).  We sometimes initiate questions that promote longer answers (unintentionally) than we are prepared to listen to. For example: “How was your golf game today”? “Well on the first hole I knocked one out of bounds and three putted…then on the second hole”….and so on….get the point. The question that deserves a 25 second or less response… “What score did you shoot today”?

We all ask questions or make statements that are not meant to initiate a conversation…but as a means of politeness or awareness of one’s presence. Such as “How are you today?”… “Have a good day”… “Good golf shot”…etc…all of these can be responded to in no more than one or two words….and should be.

If you are trying to start a conversation that has value beyond 25 seconds…then ask a question to someone who has a source of knowledge to the question you are asking….and then be prepared to listen to the answer. Conversation should be an exchange of ideas or at least a learning experience.  Remember when you are talking “you are only learning what you already know”…and if your dialog extends beyond 25 seconds it should have interest to the other party.

There are some basic rules that we should all engage in such as:

…never ask a question that you know will embarrass or make the other person feel inadequate.

…questions concerning religion and politics are not good topics…if you know the other person’s views are different from your.

…having an opinion and elaborating on something that you know nothing about is more dangerous than not having an opinion at all. This one is a confirmation to the statement “I thought he was smart until he open his mouth and removed all doubt”.

…people usually would prefer talking about themselves or their own experiences with you listening …rather than listening to you talk about yourself.

Now I have just stated what I believe to be the proper protocol for starting an intelligent conversation with a casual acquaintance, group, or a stranger in the proper setting.

With that said… if you should run into an “old friend” that you haven’t seen in some time… in an informal setting such as on the golf course or like…none of the above applies…the proper greeting would be to extend you hand for a hand shake, smile and verbalize… “Damn you are as ugly as I remember”…It’s a guy thing…we wear it like a badge of honor….and it took less than 25 seconds.  Disclaimer: I would not necessarily recommend this greeting to the more intelligent gender…women.

 

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance

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BMFD

ImageWhat do a pre-school child (4 to 5 years of age) and a super senior have in common?

There is a good possibility…it’s a Brain to Mouth “Filter” Disorder (BMFD).  In one… it has yet to be installed and… in the other… it could be worn out.

When you were four years old you probably had a tendency to repeat things that you had heard that may not have been appropriate…or innocently expressed how you felt without any consideration of others.  If you are in your super senior years…you may have a tendency to verbalize what others would consider inappropriate…but you don’t care… “you say what you mean…and mean what you say”.

Somewhere in between these ages most people develop a “filter” within themselves… that prompts them to ask “Is this an appropriate thing to say”?  Now of course…we all know some people that have traveled through life without any “filter” at all…which could be more disturbing that we care to explore.

As one ages the “filter” that processes the intake of information prior to responding becomes less effective and results in quicker, honest, and sometimes hostile and more direct responses.

Example: (Joe at the age of 40 having a conversation with his 40 year old friend Fred).

JOE:  “Fred what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

FRED:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “That’s very insightful…I have never viewed it from that prospective”.

Joe 40 years later asking the same question… to a “forty” year old friend Tom.

JOE:  “Tom what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

TOM:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “You stupid SOB…I can’t believe that anyone could be so damn stupid to think that way”!

 …I believe that you get the point.

The real question is: Has Joe gained more knowledge to change his point of view or has aging just brought on a more aggressive behavior?  We could continue with more questions…but the complexity of the answer is never simple and would need to be analyzed on an individual bases.

I recall a certain individual that I meet in college…and after several conversations…I thought that he was the stupidest individual that I had ever met (please do not confuse intelligence with education).  By circumstances I had the opportunity to meet him again 40 years later in a business environment…and in spite of his education and life experiences…in my opinion he is still the stupidest individual that I have ever met.  Aging does not always bring wisdom with it…sometimes it’s just a process of getting older.

Have you checked your “filter” lately? Check it for tolerance and understanding…but never let it filter out truth and honesty.

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.