I had forgotten what it’s like to live with people. More accurately, I’m not used to being surrounded by people all of the time.
It’s not that the people are bad or particularly annoying, but they’re there. And there. Oh, and over there. And, right there. People tend to talk when they’re near other people, too. Me, I also talk when other people are nowhere to be seen. I can’t hear other people when I’m talking to nobody, though. When people are around, like the are now, I can hear them even when I’m not having a conversation with them. It’s a lot of talking.
It seems to me that people enjoy all the chatter. They love it so much that they can’t wait until one person is done talking before they start talking. I can’t keep up with the conversations. Last night, when people looked to me for my opinion on what they were talking about, I had to admit that I had checked out of the conversation. I’ve noticed, too, that I was talking more softly than they were so it was hard for them to hear me. Instead of asking me to speak up, they continued on, replying to whatever they had pieced together. I can only assume, they used the words they heard and the movement of my lips as cues.
I’ve noticed lately that I repeat myself a lot. I’ll say the same thing at least three times. I think it’s because I think the person I’m talking to hasn’t heard me. That could be because I’m speaking too softly, I haven’t waited for them to finish speaking, or they really aren’t listening to what I’m saying. It could also be because I’ve got nothing else to add to the conversation but feel compelled to continue to contribute.
Good conversationalists impress me. Some people can break a silence with a story that is, at first, totally irrelevant. Then, somehow, it becomes a jumping off point for another conversation. The cycle then begins again. But, a good conversationalist, someone who really knows how to talk to get other people talking, that’s magic. Other people have to be around for them to cast their spells.
It’s not for me.