Sometimes we just try too hard. Have you ever found yourself over explaining something because you wanted the other person to understand what you were saying so bad and you wanted to make a good impression? They sit there with a nod and a smile pasted on and you just find yourself explaining when you should probably be quiet instead.
What’s worse are the times when you find yourself or watch someone else try too hard. They go above and beyond explanations on to hand motions or sketches to keep on explaining something beyond the facts that are definitely known.
I have a friend that loves to embellish stories. I suppose since we are in Texas they could someday wind up as Texas tall tales. Sometimes they just embellish a little bit and everyone just kind of overlooks it and goes on. Other times, the embellishment gets rather wild and things that happened to someone else suddenly become personal experiences that were much bigger and more harrowing each time the tale is told, depending on whom the tale is being told too, and who they are trying to impress.
We have a few story tellers in my family. My aunt was one and she was a fast talker too! My aunt and uncle came to visit us from California one year and she decided she would share with us all her stories about the same time my dad piped up and decided he would share all his with her. Together in the same room they both chattered and no one else could get a word in upside down, sideways or otherwise. Honestly, at night we could hear the walls still ringing with the sound of those two trying to out talk each other.
My aunt was hard to follow with her stories because she didn’t really pause between them and if you weren’t really sticking to every word she said then you could get lost and never find your way back to the conversation. She would switch subjects and keep right on going despite all the blank looks in the room.
It was great to see them and that they got to come visit, but I often look back on that and wonder how much more enjoyable it would have been if they had been a little more considerate of each other and the other people in the room. How much more could we have learned from each other if everyone had taken turns sharing, stopped and listened to each story or experience, then allowed someone else to have a say. It’s we will never know now, but it is an experience to remember. Now when we have someone come visit we will, find ways to not allow one person or a few to dominate all the conversations all the time. If nothing else we will make a game of it so that there is equal sharing time.
Time is fleeting and too important to waste. Time invested with loved ones should be shared and enjoyed and one thing that makes that possible is taking the time to establish and practice good communication so that each person feels heard, valued and equally important and included in the group.
Cherry Coley ©