Sunday, April 22, 2007

Noise or Conversations

The funny thing about noise is that we get used to it. Ask anyone who lives by the railroad tracks, on a busy street or on the flyway of an airport. When you visit them and ask them how they can stand it and they say I don't even notice it any more.

Are our conversations just noise?

Have you noticed at a supermarket checkout or at work empty conversations that have no meaning. Have you asked or been asked how are you doing and get or give automatic responses like great, fine, and ok. That's when our conversation is just noise to be tuned out. We ask questions that are expected of us to be polite but don't really care about the answers. It's just form. We are wrapped up in our own thoughts and are not paying attention. 

We can use our creativity muscle to change this if we so chose.

How?

One of my favorite tactics is to use an outrageous phrase that immediately gets attention and shows that I am paying attention.  When asked how are you today I sometimes respond with "Super peachy keen fine thank you for asking and how are you". Usually I get a great reaction of a smile, a chuckle and an answer and go on to have a conversation where I am not just noise. I have a number of different phrases that I use and enjoy the responses. Once engaged the conversation never slips back into just noise and I have met many interesting people and am always remembered when I meet them again.

We can make a difference by being engaged in all of our activities to the quality of our lives.

 

14 conversations:

Jennifer said...

Great advise! Thanks...

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks jennifer I like interesting conversations

Ginene said...

Good advice! That made me chuckle.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks ginene

Comedy + said...

Yes, the 'how are you' polite thing to do. Often I do it without even thinking about it and more often than not, I really don't care. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. To strangers this usually applies. If I know you then I do care how you are.

I never thought of it as noise before, but I guess that is a good analogy. I have been known to say, "I'm perfect but I plan on getting better" on occasion and folks generally take notice to that, but I don't spend a lot of time doing that with folks I don't know. Okay, probably never :) Great food for thought though.

So, what do you do when they are the negative sort and start whining how bad things are?

Peter Haslam said...

I say "Excuse me but no thank you" after listening for a moment. They always stop and then I say "I am having a good day and would rather talk about something else" I would sometimes get a glare. Sometimes a conversation. Their problem not mine.

Princess Haiku said...

Sounds like you have found a colorful way to say you are actually listening to a person. It must surprise people and you make a good point.

Peter Haslam said...

Yes princess haiku and I like your description

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

no honey, i am southern. we listen. we talk. we listen again. see? especially when standing in a line in the grocery with our "buggys". that's how we get the news and meet new people. it is a social time for us, talking to strangers...well, actually there are no strangers in the south. that is a myth...

smiles, bee

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks for the clarification Bee I am not familiar with the South. Sounds good :)

Comedy + said...

Congratulations on the Blogger's Choice Awards nomination. I ran right over there and voted for you. Well deserved.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks Comedy Plus

Agentsully said...

I'm amazed at how much we are even lacking in conversation period, especially with the people we live with and also at work too. TV keeps people from talking with their families. It's interesting how the news about other people is more interesting than asking each other about how our day went. And at work, we're always too busy to talk. So we have to think about it and make a conscious effort to slow down once in a while to "be" with the people around us. Good post!

Peter Haslam said...

Good reminders agentsully to pay attention. Thank you for your contribution