MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “conversation”

Talk to listen

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Humans have a strange characteristic: they can either talk for hours or sit in silence. Sometimes we need to alternate between the two.

A good, long, talk – and sometimes a good cry – is often the best cure for anything that is bothering you. It works best if there is a recipient. A friend who understands you and can soothe your aching soul.Someone who was with you before a crisis, now during it, and will remain even after it is gone. Talking about our problems alleviates our sense of burden,the pressure we feel because of them. But it has an even greater effect when you know that you’re talking to someone who may not be able to relate, but certainly comprehends your troubles. They don’t need to offer solutions. Just to be there and listen. Often, that is more important. Because most people don’t listen. They only hear what they want, all the while preparing their response for when it is their turn to enter the discussion.

Perhaps that is also the reason why it is difficult to have intellectual conversations nowadays. That ability to just sit and talk, about anything and everything. To speak without fear or regrets or limitations. To talk for hours about life and all is challenges and what makes it all worthwhile.

There is a very valid saying related to this: “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”. Consider what the talk is about next time you socialise. You’ll better realise your level of interaction.Of course, we’ve all found ourselves discuss all three at some point or other. But it is the time you devote to each that matters.

Talking helps us to externalise what we’re hiding inside. It also helps us better understand ourselves and our own needs. What we’re feeling and what we want to do about it. Most of the time we don’t talk so that others can offer solutions, we talk so that we better acknowledge our problem and find the way to solve it ourselves and help us heal. Support, however, is always welcome.

The thing is, to choose to talk. For whenever we say “I can’t”, “it is not my fault”, “I’m not responsible”, “there is no other way”, we are merely lying to ourselves. There is always a choice. And it is one made by us.

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The way you say things

misunderstandingStephen was a known diplomat. He had spent his entire life studying and training to devote his life to being a professional envoy. He knew well that the way you say things could save a lot of anguish and misunderstanding. That is why words were just as important as the tone in which you utter them.

That is what he was trying to explain to his young nephew one sunny afternoon on the terrace. The little boy had asked why his aunt was upset again. She had told Stephen that he sounded “mean and angry” and “she had done nothing to deserve such behaviour”.

You know, 10% of quarrels are due to a disagreement and 90% due to a wrong tone of voice”, said Stephen. His nephew looked at him with wide eyes, wondering how the tone of one’s voice could cause so much trouble.

Diplomats learn from a young age how to be able to be discrete in any situation. In fact, we are the ones who are – as it is said – able to tell someone to go… somewhere bad in such a way that they look forward to the journey”. The young boy laughed, even though he wasn’t sure if he had understood everything correctly. But his uncle had a way of being so persuasive that you just couldn’t disagree.

The point, in every conversation you make, is to be calm, to maintain your temper and to simply say things in the most serene way possible. In that way, even if you insult someone, they’ll take it much lighter than if you yell some bad words at them”.

There is always a way to achieve your purpose. But losing your temper is not one of them”.

Jessica appeared at the door still moody. Stephen got up, wrapped his arms around her and whispered softly in her ear “forgive me, I didn’t mean to sound so abrupt”.

Jessica smiled and fell deeper into his arms.

Their young nephew laughed. His uncle was right. And he seemed an expert in this art.

Talk, speak, utter, shout

http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pTo/jr6/pTojr6pTE.jpgEvery person, when given the chance, wants to take the time to express themselves. Aaron knew that well. An introvert by nature, all he really longed for was someone who would understand him by the few words he said.

Like everyone from time to time, he too felt the need to speak, to shout, even scream at times. But it was rarely that he found the chance to actually truly talk.

Once made to feel comfortable, however, he would speak more often, open up a bit more and begin to share all those thoughts that so frequently hovered inside his mind.

It is always easy to talk about others, down to them, or simply to them. But it is more difficult to actually talk with them. That is where communication comes in. And that is the reason Aaron never really liked talking. It just seemed too hard.

But when he met Denise everything suddenly changed.

He found himself waiting anxiously for the time they would sit down for a chat. One that would forcefully end three hours later because either of them remembered they had an appointment, or work, or something they (hesitantly) had to do. They would talk about anything and everything at the same time. Expressing their deepest feelings, their reflections, their regrets, and their dreams. They didn’t need to ask each other questions; it just happened naturally. And they felt comfortable doing it because they trusted each other completely and knew that criticism had no room among them.

You can tell a lot about a person by the things they’re willing to express about themselves, and what they desire to know about you. But most of all you can understand that person even more by the depth of the words they are willing to fire your way.

10 ways texting can make you smarter

TextingTalking is defined as the action of communicating or exchanging ideas, information etc., by speaking, or by uttering sounds of some sort. In the modern digital world, talking is equivalent to texting. We spend so much time in front of a screen that our way of communicating has evolved to be through instant messages, emails, or simply put, texts of any kind.

In whatever way it may come about, talking is essential. Because it is always better to share something with others rather than keep it locked up inside of you. Particularly when something good comes along, not having anyone to tell and join in the excitement, sort of sucks out half the joy.

So here is a short list of why talking (in any form, and preferably with others) can make you smarter:

  1. In the quest to share ideas and find conversation starters or goers, you will eventually be incited to read more, thus learn more and expand your intellectual capacity. You will discover worlds out there you never knew existed and will be amazed by how isolated we used to be. You may even be shocked at how things we still take for granted are daringly fought for by others.
  2. If you can’t express what it is you think or desire, then perhaps you are not clear about it either. Albert Einstein had said that “you do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” Just remember you can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) comment on things you don’t know about.
  3. There is no other way of getting your point of view across (well, no other peaceful way) other than clearly stating your position. Don’t expect others to guess what you want unless you state it. The struggle to develop a coherent and solid argument will open the door to interesting information for you too.
  4. You will learn to appreciate the views of others. It’s always easier to criticize than comprehend. Every interaction should celebrate the diversity of views among us. Voltaire vowed to “defend to the death your right to speak”, even if he did disapprove of what you say. Freedom of speech and opinion is a fundamental right we so often take for granted and are so willing to boldly proclaim whenever it is violated.
  5. Twitter’s limitation of 140 characters has made every word count, forcing us to squeeze our minds into making those few words mean the most they can, and constraining us to say everything we need to in the fewest amount of words possible. Consequently, it has made us appreciate all the more the power of words. And spelling. And perhaps enticed us to flick through a dictionary. Or thesaurus.
  6. Talking to others makes you look at the other side of the coin. We all view life through our own one-sided perspective. But what about asking someone in a different situation how they view things? It will give you a different lens through which to view the facts and will open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. It may even bring you a step closer to understanding this world we live in.
  7. Through conversations you can learn how to do a lot – about how to turn a pessimistic person around to having a glimpse of optimism for things in their lives. How to become witty in order to respond to petty comments. Perhaps you will find like-minded people out there, or someone who challenges you intellectually and stimulates a dialogue from which you may all gain. It may lead to arguments you didn’t know you had until someone made you think of them.
  8. Talking may lead to the next great discovery. The innovation we’ve been all waiting for. Exchange ideas, develop them, compliment them through conversations. You’d be surprised at the outcome.
  9. The more you talk, the more you learn. And it is not just about the gossip. The more information and points of view you hear, the more you will be able to distinguish between the truth and the lies; between propaganda and realism. And the more you will be able to develop your own informed opinion about the state of things.
  10. Ultimately, talking and being able to express your thoughts makes you more attractive. It shows you are not a feeble by-stander in this exciting world. You take part and have a view. And there is nothing as powerful as a mind in action.

Selfish Shellfish Selfies

ShellfieGo into a café. Look around. How many people do you see who are really conversing? Who are actually talking and listening to each other? Look at their hand gestures, their body movement, their eye contact. Any? Now, count how many people you see instead being distracted by a digital device. Too many to count, huh?

It’s amazing how the first thing we have come to notice when entering a café, a bar, a restaurant, is whether they have free Wi-Fi or not. As if that is the criterion of whether their food will be healthy or tasty, or even edible. Because of course, we then have to check-in, post on every social media account we have, that we are at that specific place. And then, we have that irresistible need – that feels like an itch that must be scratched – to take selfies of everything, as if that is what will prove our existence.

We have become such narcissists and so self-centred that when someone asks us what we do, we hesitate for a while, and our thoughts run to the last thing we posted or read online in order to find an interesting conversation starter. How many hours of the day do we spend sunk in a screen, reading. As though we are shellfish retreating in their hard exterior, waiting for the moment a pearl will emerge. Reading about the news, about other people’s status updates, about pretty much everything. Because we need to be informed about everything. And then we also need to have an opinion about everything too. And we obviously need to post it to demonstrate that we are opinionated and follow the current trends.

But just consider for a moment, what happens during a power cut? We sit in silence not knowing what to do. And if we still have charged phones, we might take a selfie and save it for later, to post as soon as power is back – #blackout #nowwhat #awkward.

Is this what we want to be remembered as? The generation hashtag? We are so busy trying to prove that we are active digitally that we don’t really do much in reality. What is the point of going for a hike or for a cross-country train ride, when you keep posting updates of your location? How are you exactly enjoying being in nature away from the digital insanity? Sure, take pictures, but save them for later. Then you can comprehensively recap your experience and tell others how worthwhile it was to escape for a while. Prompt yourself and others to step away from the screen.

Because, honestly, is this all we have to show for ourselves? That we are selfish shellfish taking selfies?

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

Also part of Daily Post: 21st Century Citizen

Don’t talk. Just listen….

unknown call– Don’t talk. Just listen. Did you see the fireworks yesterday? Yes, just after the new Prime Minister’s victory speech? It was as if the country was having one huge party. Well, I don’t blame them. I mean the guy’s just 40 years old. And he is not bad to look at either. Plus, the casual, no-tie look makes him more likeable. I think that’s one of the reasons why he won over so many people. He managed to convince them that he relates to them. He is one of them. And like he said, he wants to have a government that belongs to all the people. Well, good luck. It would be great if at least somebody managed to do so. But did you see the fireworks in the capital’s centre? It reminded me of those 4th of July fireworks. You remember then ones. That is when I met him. You know who. That bastard who broke my heart. He played me like a fiddle on the roof. You know I ran into him the other day at the supermarket? He was shopping for groceries. At least that is what he said. He looked good. Was wearing jeans and a shirt. A shirt I got for him. It felt very weird. To be honest I even forgot to buy half my shopping list after I saw him. I was so depressed by the time I got home, that I spent the entire night watching series on TV and going to bed by midnight. I know it’s pathetic, but what do I do? Come on, you know what I am talking about don’t you?

– I’m sorry, who is this?

– Becky? It’s me, Deborah.

– I’m sorry, I’m not Becky and I don’t know any Deborah.

– Oh. Well, this is embarrassing. I am so sorry.

– Not a problem. I hope everything works out. And don’t worry, we’ve all been there. It takes time. Stay strong!

– Thanks! Sorry again for this awkward call!

[Dials Again]

– Don’t talk. Just listen…

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Unknown Caller

Bear-ing a dream

bear_teddy_bear“Nanna, I had a weird dream last night.”

“Really? What did you see?”

“I saw a big brown bear. It seemed so alive!”

“A bear?” Nanna seemed surprised. And perplexed. “Was it growling?”

“Hmm, I don’t remember. But I don’t think so. Why, does it mean something different if it was?”

“No. I was simply wondering if there were any audio effects to it,” she smiled cheekily.

“Nanna! I’m serious! It scared me. What does it mean? And why did I see a bear in my sleep? So real and scary?”

“Well, my sweet Rita, you can’t expect others to interpret the messages sent by your subconscious. No matter what all these dream books and so-called-dream-experts say, you will only find the true meaning of your dreams if you search inside you. And well, you never know when you’ll realize what it means. Maybe it’s when you least expect it. Like a revelation!”

Rita seemed confused. What did the dream mean? Lost in her thoughts she was startled by Puffy, the golden retriever who came over to announce it was time for his walk. He jumped on to the chair next to her and knocked off a bunch of clothes and bags piled up there, including Rita’s favourite brown teddy bear which popped out from under a t-shirt as it fell on the floor. That very bear she had been looking for all week.

Rita smiled and looked at Nanna whose wisdom eyes gleamed in the morning sunlight. The subconscious is a funny thing after all.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Freudian Flips

When would you like to live?

VicCouple“I don’t like living in the 21st century,” uttered Alice as she gulped down a glass of cold water. The sun was stifling that day, and burning the back of her head so much that she could even feel it turn chili pepper red.

“Why?” said Paul as he continued to stare at his tablet, concentrated on how to best guide his hero-turtle along a leafy path, knocking frogs out of its way. “This is the best century in which to live! Well, except if in the next one we have flying vehicles and spaceships that would allow us to fly to the moon and other planets whenever we want! Yeah, that would be so cool!…Gotcha!”. Paul’s eyes never left the screen. It was as if his gaze was transfixed. And every now and then he would sway in motion together with the tablet, as if he and his hero-turtle were one and the same.

“Agh”, sighed Alice. She, on the other hand, was a romantic. She didn’t jump through hoops for all this technology available at our fingertips nowadays. Sure, it facilitates life and was definitely worth it. But our lives shouldn’t simply depend on them. They are supposed to serve us and not the other way around. Alice loved to observe the world around her, and she could not possibly understand why Paul was so mesmerized by a simple gadget, when on a lovely summer day like this birds were chirping away in the trees, flowers were blooming all across the garden, and the sea was lying right there, still and peaceful waiting for a splash. How could he just ignore it all? For a screen?

“I would like to have lived in the Renaissance. With those large, elegant gowns, swirling along with my every step. Those pretty hats and lace umbrellas. And all those gentlemen, discreetly courting me.” Alice made a twirl as she dreamt of how better everything would be.

“Pfff,” snarled Paul. Still not looking away from the screen.

“What? … Rather, what about Belle Époque or the Enlightenment? Aaaaahhh”, she let out a prolonged sigh, like a small bubble letting out its air, slowly and smoothly.

“You’re a dreamer. You do live in Wonderland after all!”

“So what? At least I realize the beauty of other times. You don’t even know about them!”

“Sure I do. I know about the time of dinosaurs. Or the prehistoric men. Or the time of the Crusades.”

“Why would you want to live in a war period? We have enough of that now as it is!”

“But it’s all about the action. And feeling important!”

“See, that’s what these stupid videogames do to you. You think everything is fun and games. Even when lives are at stake! …. I’ve had enough of you. I’m going for a swim, either way you won’t even know I’m not here.” Alice threw off her beach dress and ran towards the sea. She welcomed the soothing splash into the ocean, as she shook off the sun’s burning rays from her head and back.

She was already swimming 200 meters in, when Paul, eyes fixed on the tablet, said “do what you want. We’ll always disagree on time periods. Everyone thinks another time different to their own is always better. … Are you even listening to me?”


Partly inspired by Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen
Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

Also part of: Daily Prompt: Fly on the Wall – If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Also part of Daily Prompt: One-Way Street – Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

The last stance

11275856-confused-emoticon“No, no, no. Not the last stance, the last dance! That’s what it’s called. Because it’s the last performance of one of the senior choreographers who’s retiring”

“Well if he’s so tiring, how will you even last a performance then?”

“Not tiring, he’s re-tiring. He’s old!”

“Old? And he’s still dancing? Heck, I get tired walking out on the balcony!”

“Well, he’s not exactly the one dancing. He just directs the rest. So you’ll come, right?”

“I’ll try, dear.”

“Great! You’ll love it, I’m sure. Now I have to go get my costume. Do you want me to bring you anything?”

“No, dear. I’m fine. Thank you.”

“Sure? No, ice cream, no pie, no sweet of any sort, nothing?”

“Sweet? My sugar levels are already up the roof!”

“Ok then. I’ll be back in a jiff!”

“In a jeep? Where will you get a jeep from?

“In a jiff, grandma! Not a jeep! Am I not enunciating right?”

“Of course, it would be emancipating, dear. Just not for our times. In the 60s perhaps, yes.”

“Emancipating? But I said enunciating! Oh, anyway. I’m off! See you later, grandma!”

“Ok, dear. Just be careful with that jeep, it’s not as liberating as you may think! I would know!”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Groupthink

Also part of Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue               

Could it be?

dogopolyThe window was halfway down so he could easily pop his head out, gazing at the passers-by.

“Hey pup! How ya doin?”

“All right. Not too shabby, I would say. Out for the day’s walk. How about you?”

“Good. Just got up from my nap. Tiring day today. Was up since dawn. You know, had to chase after breakfast. My stomach was growling!”

“Ah, I know that feeling. I just hope the economic crisis doesn’t cling on us too!”

“Hey pretty! Nice bow you got there!”

“Oh thanks, Dane! Just got out of the salon. You like the new style?”

“Suits you perfectly darling! You should pass by more often. Makes the sun shine brighter!”

“Oh stop, you’re making me blush!”

BRRRRRGGGGGGRRRRRRR!!!! The neighbor next door started the lawn mower. I was abruptly woken up from my daydream and reinstated back to reality.

Suddenly the Great Dane sitting by the window moved back indoors, while the Labrador puppy out front startled and dashed away, dragging its teenage owner with it.  Even the little white poodle with the pretty pink bow which previously appeared as parading down a runway now rushed to distance herself from all the noise.

Go figure, and I thought all that woofing and barking was a racket. They might as well have been having a conversation. If I could only understand what they were saying. It even seemed like they saluted each other before they ran off. Could it be?

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