Tag Archives: conversation

Breakthrough Conversation

I went to the bar after work the other day with the sole purpose of killing time to avoid the commute home during rush hour. I walked in and saw one of my coworkers. I’ve known him for a few years but he works in a different department and we’ve only talked about work stuff, weather, movies, and local sports teams. That was probably the first time that I had even seen him out of work. It’s better to drink with somebody than to drink alone, so I pulled up a stool next to him and sat down. We started talking about work stuff, but the conversation eventually turned into a real one.

We talked about our lives. Where we grew up, where we went to school, where we lived before moving to the city. We talked about our childhoods, our families, and what we thought about the world. It was a breakthrough conversation, the kind of talk where a stranger becomes a friend. It’s always cool to get to know someone better. It’s weird, it’s almost like humans need social interaction or something.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Not Knowing Who You’re Talking To

We live in an age of caller ID and ADD, so there are lots of times when you’ll end up having a conversation with somebody and you’re not quite sure who they are. I got a text this morning from a number I don’t recognize. The person mentioned that they bumped into a girl I used to work with, so I assume that it’s a coworker from the past but I have no way to be sure. I just kept on texting them back like I knew who I was talking to. I suppose I could have asked who I was talking to, but that seemed rude because this person obviously know who I was. So I just went along with it and kept asking questions about the girl the person bumped into. I had no idea who I was talking to but the person had no idea I didn’t know, so no harm, no foul. Not knowing who you’re talking to is a weird feeling, but I guess it’s better than not talking to anybody.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Don’t Feed the Pigeons

There’s a guy I work with that has a nasty habit of talking your ear off. He likes to dominate the discussion, especially when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If you give him an opening he will start talking loudly and cluelessly for at least five minutes before you find a way to escape the conversation. You literally have to smile at him and start backing out of the room. A few of my coworkers still ask him follow-up questions so as not to seem rude. To which I say don’t feed the pigeons. Engaging him in conversation only encourages him to keep coming back to start new pointless conversations with other unfortunate victims. I’m not trying to be a dick, I just don’t have the patience to deal with nincompoops. On a side note, this is the first time I’ve used the word nincompoop in any of its forms on my blog.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bluetooth Headset

A Bluetooth headset is a small device that fits in your ear used for short-range voice transmission. You’ll typically find them on businessmen, cab drivers, and douchebags. There is no way to use a Bluetooth headset without looking pretentious. The problem with them is that you never know if the douchebag is talking to you or to someone else. They will suddenly ignore you in the middle of a conversation because their phone rings, but you can’t tell that the phone rang. You’ll think that they are still talking to you so you respond to them, and they point to their Bluetooth headset like you’re an idiot. People complain about how everyone is so absorbed in technology that there isn’t any real human interaction anymore. Bluetooth headsets and smart phones have a lot to do with that, but you can use a smart phone without looking like a tool. You can’t do that with Bluetooth in your ear. It’s a social deterrent. Bluetooth headsets are only acceptable if you are working or driving. But you’ll still look like a douchebag.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Airport Conversations

Airport conversations are some of the most interesting conversations that you will ever experience. You’ll have an hour to kill before your flight starts boarding, so naturally you’ll go to the bar to pass the time. Someone will sit down next to you and you’ll make idle conversation but you know that you’ll most likely never see that person again. Somehow that means that your conversation will casual but intimate. You’ll tell them your whole story: your name, your occupation, where you’re from, where you’re going, sometimes things that you’ve never even told your closest friends and family. Then you realize your plane’s about to depart, so you say goodbye, wish them a safe flight, and go your separate ways. You’ll never see them or hear from them again, but sometimes it’s nice to have a friend for forty-five minutes.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Hold On, Let Me Show You a Picture

You’re hanging out with some friends or spending some time with family, just enjoying yourselves and catching up. Somebody asks you about the recent vacation that you took, and you start to describe the culture, the sights, and the things you did. And then you remember that you have a dozen pictures on your smartphone, so you bust it out and say, “Hold on, let me show you a picture.” You then spend the next few minutes scrolling through your thousands of pictures looking for the right ones, while everyone else pretends to care as their interest wanes. By the time you finally find the pictures of your vacation, the conversation has already moved on and nobody cares. They might glance at your pictures to be polite, but you’ve already killed the mood. Conversations are supposed to flow and transition. Trying to find a picture on your phone doesn’t let the conversation progress. A picture should start a discussion, not end it. You’re a great photographer though.

            Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Social Butterfly

A social butterfly is a person who can talk to and relate to anyone. They are friendly and personable and instantly likable. It’s a skill that can’t be taught. A social butterfly can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and they’ll be acting like they’ve known each for years within a few minutes. They float around between different social circles and bring everybody together for awesome parties. They make awesome politicians. The only downside to having so many friends is that it’s hard to form deep and long-lasting friendships. But social butterflies are never bored, they are never lonely, and they always know the place to be. I wish I was a social butterfly and not just writing about them.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Talking to Your Pet Like It’s Going to Respond

It’s easy to make fun of people who talk to their dog or cat like it’s going to talk back. You see it all the time. Someone will take out a leash and ask Rex if he’s ready for his walk. They ask Spot if he’s hungry. You can call them crazy. You can call them lonely. But you’re being hypocritical because everyone talks to their pet like it’s going to respond. You ask them questions and then you ask them follow-up questions. You tell them your plans for the day. You might even ask them for advice. Talking to your pet like it’s going to respond is one of the insane things that everybody does. Maybe it’s normal to be crazy sometimes. That doesn’t change the fact that Fido will never talk back.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Tell Them I Say Hi

You’re hanging out with some friends when one of your mutual friends calls you from out of state. You have a brief conversation and you mention that you’re with a couple of people, and he tells you to “Tell them I say hi.” You say you will, you hang up, and you don’t tell them that he said hi. And why would you? He doesn’t really expect you to tell them that he said hi. He just said that to acknowledge their presence, that he remembers that they exist, and they are his friends too. He doesn’t want to me to actually tell them that he says hi. I’m always worried about telling them that he said hi and then they say to tell him hi back. And I do, and then he tells me to ask them how they are doing. And I do, and then they say they are doing fine and to ask him how he is doing. And I do, and then he tells me to tell them that he is good and that they should come out the next time he’s in town. And I do, and then they tell me to tell him that sounds like fun and that he should shoot them a text soon. I don’t want to be the messenger. I’m not an owl. If you want to tell them hi, do it yourself and leave me out of it.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Talking About the Weather

You know you’ve run out of things to talk about when you start talking about the weather. It means you need to try harder to make small talk. Nobody really cares if it’s hot out. They might care if it’s raining just in case they need an umbrella, but they don’t want to have a lengthy conversation about it. Talking about the weather is something that I associate with awkward conversations with forgotten relatives at a family reunion. You talk about the weather when you have nothing interesting to say. Can you honestly remember the last time you had a stimulating conversation about humidity? No, you can’t. Because it’s never happened. The only people who should be talking about the weather are meteorologists. And even they don’t talk about weather outside of work.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping is the auditory equivalent of people watching, only you are secretly listening in on their conversation instead of discretely looking at them. It works really well if you have headphone in without any music playing. People have loose tongues if they think that nobody is paying attention. They say that the world is full of assholes and idiots. Eavesdropping confirms that. You shouldn’t speak unless it’s worth saying. Most of the things you hear are stupid and trivial, but occasionally you overhear some interesting tidbits or juicy gossip, and that’s reason enough to keep eavesdropping. The most important thing to remember about eavesdropping is keeping yourself from butting in. You’re just listening to the conversation; you aren’t a part of it.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Table vs Bar Top

It’s beer thirty and it’s time to start drinking. You walk into the bar and are instantly faced with a decision. You can sit at the bar top or you can grab a table. I prefer getting a table. You can actually make eye contact with other people and have a normal conversation with your friends. It’s more casual and relaxed. The biggest problem with sitting at a table is that ordering another drink becomes a hassle. Everybody gets lazy and settled in, and if you finally cave and stand up to get another drink, everybody else is waving cash at you and asking that you also order them a beer while you’re up.

Sitting at the bar top is convenient, but it’s also kind of depressing. You are instantly limited in who you can talk to; it’s either the person the right or left of you and the bartender. The bartender might make small talk with you, but he or she doesn’t give a shit about you. They might crack a joke or share an anecdote, but they are just trying to get a tip out of you. You’re basically paying them to pretend to be your friend. Sitting at the bar top shows that you mean business. You are there to drink. Sitting at a table shows that you are there to socialize. You are there to have a drink with your friends. It doesn’t matter which one you prefer, as long as you have a drink in your hand.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Awkward Silence

You’re with a group of friends, laughing and joking and having a good time. The conversation is lively and spontaneous and then suddenly nonexistent. An awkward silence manages to force its way into the conversation and an apprehensive tension inexplicably destroys everybody’s ability to communicate. The awkward silence is usually only a few seconds long but it seems to last for a few agonizing minutes. Everyone is secretly wondering if they are the cause, they wonder if the conversation would still be going if only they shared one more anecdote or spouted one more quip. An awkward silence just means that everyone is doing the right thing. You don’t want to dominate the conversation; you just want it to flow. Sometimes it flows into a dead end and you have to start over. The best way to end the awkward silence is to acknowledge is and discuss it directly. When you notice the awkward silence, simply say, “Woah, awkward silence, huh?” The silence gets dissolved the second somebody resumes talking and your conversation about nothing in particular can proceed.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Talking on the Phone in the Subway

Having a long conversation on the phone in public is enough to make everyone hate you, but talking on the phone in the subway is just plain stupid. The other day I was in the underground station waiting for my train. There was a stupid bitch yakking away on her phone standing behind me. The train approached and we both got on, she just kept on chatting away as the door closed and the train started to move. Then her phone cut out because that’s what happens when you’re in a tunnel. I enjoyed the temporary reprieve from her annoying voice, but then she called her friend back at the next station. We were still underground and we had three more stops to go before we hit street level. So she had a twenty-seven second conversation before the doors closed, the train started moving, and her phone got cut off again. And then she called back at the next station, apologized for losing reception because she’s in the subway, and promptly got cut off when the train started moving again. She let out an impatient sigh, like it was the train’s fault for her being an idiot. I know that she’s an idiot because she called back at every station. It’s truly remarkable how people like that exist. And holy shit, there are a lot of people like that. I can’t wait for the zombie apocalypse.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Simultaneous Drunken Conversations

When you first arrive at a bar with a few friends, everyone is engaged in a single conversation. As time goes by and the drinks go down, the conversation starts to branch out and soon you simultaneous drunken conversations all over the place. Everybody has something to say and the more you drink, the more inclined you are to share your opinions. You alternate between blabbing about bullshit and nodding your head in agreement while drinking your drink. There’s a conversation about football to your left, a discussion about Kim Kardashian to your right, and a hundred other meaningless debates raging in your near vicinity. Just jump into one and don’t leave until you need another drink. It’s just drunk talk.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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