THEY think the world revolves around them. Or may be not. Yet they do give you that impression. They have an addiction. They think what they have to say is the most vital thing on the planet.
A lot has something to do with lack of good listeners around them. Or a dearth of listeners altogether. And I am not talking about a bunch of friends who get chatty around each other. I am referring to a category of people who get chatty around anyone. Their biggest joy in life is to hear themselves ‘talking’. The sound of their chatter is music to them.
Unfortunately, not so for others. Sometimes, you find yourself among these ‘others’. And you have observed so many such people over the years, that you are bound to share a few of their inflictions, while desperately trying not to get ‘chatty’ yourself.
The Indefatigables: Fatigue feels like a virtue when you have lent a generous ear to this category. And as the sense of accomplishment seeps in, you realize the talker was not even close to being tired. His endless chat ranges from the latest murder in the city to the rising price rise and stray dogs. He totally takes you into the conversation since you too have an opinion. Soon you realize the conversation becoming predominantly about ‘his opinion’, ‘his thoughts’. The chat becomes a task. You admire his stamina of talking. What was the last impression on his face? Oh yes, an open mouth! That’s because you had finally succeeded in cutting him on the pretext of work.
The Me-too’s: This one’s annoying. He has a knack for cutting you in the middle of the climax of your excitement while sharing something important. For instance, you would begin with: I write commercial blogs for…….But before you finish, you would be cut with: Oh my neighbor’s son’s classmate’s girlfriend also writes blogs. She is pretty successful I have heard. She makes a lot of money……………So then, you change the subject. And you contemplate starting a more harmless discussion like the weather. You say: Oh it rained so much today. It’s been wonderful…….But you are cut with: I don’t like rain as much you know. I catch cold very easily plus it is so dirty out here……….So after a point, you thank your heavens that he didn’t say “Barack Obama’s neighbor is my friend” while discussing about US policies.
The braggarts: For obvious reasons, you hate this category the most. How long is it humanly possible to listen to their ‘I did this’? Worse, they trick you into meeting them whenever they have something to brag about. Before or after that, they forget you exist. Actually during the entire time while talking too, you don’t exist for them. Occasionally when they shower you with little gifts, you invariably doubt their intentions. They can go to any extent of keeping you so that they always have ‘back-up listeners’ of their braggadocio. Their glass is always full of themselves with no chance of emptying. Ironically, they expect you to come with empty glasses. You always find yourself at the receiving end of their egotistic pursuits and feel a victim of their personality. They worship ‘self’ and expect you to be a devotee. So after fully comprehending the breadth, height and depth of their being, that too thanks to their non-stop bragging, you shun every personal meeting and find yourself hiding in parties.
The counselors/advisers: Your brother often jokes that India is a land of free advice. Nothing seems to be more true when you are in the company of this category. They often advise without asking, counsel without calling. They are the omniscient who seem to know every piece of information there is to know. And so they shower the gyaan without the least of provoking. They make big principles out of useless experiences. They are always on the look-out for students. They often don’t realize that they hurt more often than help. They discourage more strongly than encourage. That is because they don’t advise or counsel out of a spirit of self-less help.
The innocent talkers: Your mind seems to lose every fight against your heart when it comes to this category. You do want to listen to them because they are neither full of themselves nor have an advice to offer. They speak because they have experienced so much not because no one else hears them. They speak out of sheer innocence of an experience they encountered. They genuinely want you to speak more and often but their cup is filled up to the brim of endless interesting experiences. You love them because despite that, they give you a chance to share your unworthy tale. And so when you are done, that is often quick, you don’t mind listening to their chats about experiences. Of course listening does have a limit, so you give up after a point. But you leave with a promise to come back and lend them a listening ear.