Sometimes, Life just loves to annoy us. So no matter how we try to be good, nice and kind to certain people, they just don’t seem to get it and effortlessly get on our nerves. Like people who like to dominate conversations to put others down, pretend they know more, and who are too proud to accept their mistakes and/or defeat.
Even if we try to accept what they are and go around the fact that they can be quite annoying, we try our best to be civil and think they don’t mean to be like that. The thing is, they can be too self-centered and arrogant know-it-alls, they don’t even see or acknowledge their own faults. For them, it is always others’ faults. Are you one of us? We feel you. Are you one of them? Then it’s a good thing you know. There’s hope for you yet.
So, here are some rules to help you (and even us) avoid being completely and socially ostracized in the future.
Some Important Rules for The Conversation Hog
RULE #1: When butting in a conversation, make sure you know the context of the conversation so that you won’t look ignorant.
RULE #2: Do not assume you know more or better than others, especially if you decide to ignore Rule #1. A casual or friendly conversation is not a contest where you need to outdo the other.
Know your limitations. It’s not a sin to not know everything.
RULE #3: Know who you are talking to so that when you try to appear more knowledgeable about something, you’re sure they can’t possibly tell you much more.
You can’t snicker at a fictionist and lecture her on what is real or make-believe in a story, or scoff at a filmmaker’s technical comments on a movie, or laugh at somebody’s fashion preference. If you haven’t written any story, haven’t made an actual cinematic film, or don’t look anything close to spectacular with your fashion sense, you can’t, so just don’t.
Remember, they may have more experience on those subjects. Nothing wrong with giving your piece for you could be right; just leave the you-must-be-kidding-me approach out of it. But of course, you won’t remember that because you are too caught up in trumping their ego with yours. Or that’s what you think. See who actually sounds absurd. So, remember Rule #1.
RULE #4: When someone makes a comment about something, don’t take everything s/he says literally. Again, context.
RULE #5: When someone says. “I don’t understand why….!!!” it doesn’t mean she’s dumb. It just means you’re arrogant and too hungry for attention that you always want to “correct” his/her stupid ideas.
There are various figures of speech. Look them all up. And if you’re an expert on people, you’ll recognize the tones and properly interpret body language. Oh, while you’re at it, learn how to differentiate between frankness and tact, age and maturity, being true and showing off…
RULE #6: In relation to Rule #4, when someone makes a comment about something, that is not an invitation to a contest. Just give your opinion or correct information.
If s/he sounds so sure, don’t challenge him/her to mask your insecurity; if s/he sounds boastful, then your opinion or information may shut him/her up. But always remember, the world does not revolve around you.
A good conversationalist knows how to listen, accepts and gives constructive criticism, and leaves his ego outside, or risk social ostracism
RULE #7: If you follow Rule #5, let others give their opinions and information as well. If no one else is allowed to, then by all means, let us not interrupt your conversation with yourself.
RULE #8: Not because one doesn’t share your opinion, it means s/he’s joining your imaginary competition. S/he may not be as insecure. Don’t be mad just because you are not looking at the same view. Maybe his/hers looks better on his/her side.
RULE #9: Don’t be so presumptuous. Not all conversations need your comment. We may not even be interested. But since this is supposed to be a free country, go ahead. Just remember the aforementioned rules.
RULE #10: Having seen this or that famous person one time or another doesn’t make you an authority on what kind of people they are. Heaven knows what you say about people you actually know (maybe that’s why we are wary of you?). Most times, we’re not even the least bit interested in them.
It doesn’t even make us love or respect you more; it may just add to your infamy. Get off your high horse–you don’t even look good on it.
RULE #11: Don’t hate the person who actually has the guts to tell you off. Better to know what people actually think of you. If you really want an honest opinion, ask his/hers.
RULE#12: It’s not in the age. It’s in the attitude. So before you talk down to others about maturity or the lack of it, look in the mirror first and hope you find it there.
Copyright © J.Gi Federizo
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