Thursday, March 20, 2008
17. The wall has no mood
For conversation, it is not enough that you want to talk. The other person has to listen and he may not simply be in the mood to do so. This may happen even with your closest friend. He may generally be willing to listen to you for hours together with deep interest, but on a day when he is not in the mood to do so, you may have to throttle your desire to speak. If not through words, he may convey to you through gestures that you are required to keep quiet. This may shake your confidence in your ability to be entertaining, interesting or at least tolerable. If you take things too seriously, you may start finding vices which you were earlier not able to locate in your friend. A spurned conversationist who is raring to shoot can be more dangerous than most people can imagine.You cannot expect all human beings to enjoy talking to you. Almost everyone can think of some people who enjoy talking to him and some who don't. If you are generally regarded as a poor conversationist, you can take solace from the fact that even the most accomplished speakers bump into some people who find them absolutely intolerable. There can be no issues with having two sets of people who have diametrically opposite views about your conversational attributes. The real problem from the management angle arises when those who generally like to listen to you develop moods in which they would like to keep themselves out of the hearing range. Even worse is the fact that you can't demand any explanation when someone says that he does not have the mood to listen to you. If someone is sad, you can ask why. If someone is injured, you can ask what happened. But if someone says that he is in no mood to listen, the matter ends. Mood is something you cannot explain. When someone has no reason whatsoever to avoid doing something, he finds shelter in "mood" which feels free to keep changing all the time.When you talk to the wall, you face no such problem. If you are in the mood to speak, the wall is always in the mood to listen.