Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obnoxious AND anti-climactic

I've always been annoyed by people who are constantly trying to "top" your story. They begin telling you their experience before you even finish sharing about yours. It drives me crazy! This happens a lot when you become a mom. Everyone has the most outrageous labor story. Everyone's kid has said something similar, yet far more funny than your kid. And everyone has a schedule that makes your day look like a day at the park. I'd love to share some personal examples at this point, but those friends and family members who do this the most are most likely the very ones reading this post. I like to keep my passive aggressiveness to a minimum. So, I'll speak in generalities.

Now, I understand that the nature of a conversation is to share similar experiences, opinions, and perspectives, but its the uncontrollable eagerness to speak that you completely tune out your conversation partner's words, the total disregard for anyone else's experience, and the refusal to recognize someone's thoughts as legitimate that makes me want to smack a person upside the head and tell them to get over themselves because although they think they are, they are not, in all actuality, the winner of the conversation. There are no winners in conversation. Otherwise, it'd be called a 'conversation match' or a 'story bowl' or 'word race'. But its not. There is nothing competitive about a conversation.

I have discovered lately, however, that as much as this annoys me, as much as I can't stand it, I've started doing it!! Primarily when it comes to motherhood, because after all, I do have the most outrageous labor story and the funniest child in the history of children. The thing about me doing this, though, is that I catch myself. I see the person I'm speaking to looking at me with those same "I want to smack you" eyes. So, I quickly wrap my story up without getting to the good part, or majorly downplaying it. So, not only have I obnoxiously monopolized the conversation, I've done so with an anti-climactic, boring, mundane story, which leads to lots of awkward silences.