Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beware: Fullers!

Have you ever been talking to someone and they say the strangest thing in response to you? They might say: "Good..uh huh." in retort to you re saying: "I had a wretched day today, I think I have to put the dog down." This usually happens with two types of people in your specific life. Those with which you have no "filter". (ie. spouse, best friend, mother) or a total disinterest in(ie. your mother-in-law, co-worker who blabs too much, the PTA mom you loathe...etc).

This happens way more than you would imagine. Shocking evidence that people are NOT listening to what we have to say, even worse, when we actually need them to. Instead, they are using fillers to drop into the spaces they don't have the paitence or concentration to actually produce a response. Factor in the Internet, IM's, blackberries, driving...people don't give you the 100% of the floor like they used to.

I propse we go with the AA philosophy and create a trinket or baton or pickle, and when engaging in conversation, only ONE person can hold the pickle at a time. Everyone must listen to the person holding the pickle. I am going to name it: "fullers". A hybrid of two words. You do the linguistics.

There are your average, everyday fullers. I was talking to my husband the other day, I said: "Everyone here at work is so deflated. I didn't realize how many people are losing their jobs." He says: (and I quote) "Cool."

Then there are pre-fab fullers. Yep, that was just average. I was talking to a neighbor last week and she was busy tending to her flock of children, or was it baking? Something involving pasteurized milk and curd balls.

I said: "So, I got home early and took a bath. It was nice." she says: "yeah, that sucks." Now, this is bad because the non-listener, or the "fuller face" is so obliviously not paying attention the words coming out of my mouth. I would venture to guess she does this to people so often she has upgraded them to seem a little more interactive.

Other examples of such pre-fab fullers: "eh-hm", "Wow, really?" , "No way!", "Well, what are you going to do?", "it happens." "how ironic." and so forth. These responses are so over-utilized in common conversation a person throwing fullers doesn't even have to listen, they can just hear the tone in your voice, and like muscle memory remembers a yoga pose or a running pattern , the brain spits something out. Next time you feel it's happened to you, instead of feeling a little sullen and ignored, say to them: "really? you think so? why?" and wait for the long pause.

I get it, we all do this. There is no possible way we can listen to everyone that talks to us with all of our attention. Life is too fast and valuable to take the time to truly interface with other humans. We have blogs to read, radio to listen to, work to do, global warming to fight. People, in the end, are the only thing that remember who and what we were. Listening to them would be, well....wasteful of our time, right?

And you say..... "eh-hm." Good talk.

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