365 Things to Look Forward to – Number 23: Talk

23. Talk

I’m not big on talking. But when I have to, I can and will talk.

You might think it’s strange for someone whose work centers on talking. After all, you can’t be a teacher or a trainer or public speaker or actor and not expect to talk for at least a certain length of time. And, most certainly, talking is involved in coffee shop work.

Still, I’ve always been more of an introvert than an extrovert, and my preference is always to listen and observe rather than talk.

But I’m not talking about talking in relation to work here. I’m talking about just talking about anything and everything under the sun, including the sun and what stretches beyond. After all, there are so many things to talk about, and they are, every single one of them, interesting. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of people who enjoy that kind of talk, and, to an introvert like me, I’d rather not talk if the other party is too dogmatic or critical or complaining.

I enjoy just saying whatever comes to mind and following that or letting it drop. Sometimes the conversation can run into a very serious academic discussion of issues, or sometimes it can become very silly. Either way, it’s fun, stimulating, interesting, amusing and satisfying.

Some of the most tedious talk is when somebody goes on and on about their life, their escapades, their travails, their family, and so on and so forth. Most of the time, you don’t even want to know that information. Sure, it’s the stuff you build friendships and relationships on, but that is such self-centered talk. Sure, it’s the stuff that most people think about or worry about, and most people don’t even have the time to think or worry about anything else, so they won’t talk about anything else, because these are the things that are important to them.

I think, what they don’t realize, is that talking about other things is more therapeutic than they think. How?

One, it takes their minds of their daily concerns. Everybody needs to step back and step away from their lives once in a while and experience something that is unessential to their daily existence. Talk about the poverty in Southeast Asia and they might just see how good their lives are, and instead of complaining about what little they have, they might realize that they have so much more than others.

Two, it’s excellent exercise for the brain. Just thinking about new ideas or ideas beyond what we think about on a daily basis makes those brain cells wake up and creates hundreds of new neural connections. I’m not the brain expert here, but I do know that new ideas stimulate the brain by figuratively expanding the area that is used.

Three, it’s educational. Sometimes you explore ideas that you never thought of or seriously considered and find that your conversational partner has more knowledge than you in some areas. Or, as I like to do when a question comes up that nobody can answer, I do a bit of research and check out Wikipedia or dictionaries or whatever other resource I can find until I am satisfied. Sometimes a short explanation will do. Sometimes I want to know much much more and look for more articles or even borrow books on the topic.

Four, it’s a great way to pass the time! Instead of just sitting and watching TV reruns or taking a nap (don’t get me wrong, these can be great ways to pass the time, but they’re not always accessible) you can do all of the above and pass the time as well. When you’re in a stimulating conversation, you never really notice how time flies.

Five, you enjoy yourself as well. Have I mentioned that it is both fun and satisfying? Unless of course your talk is cut off and you so badly want to put in another word. Still, the satisfaction of learning, acquiring, sharing, thinking and putting your thoughts into words that someone else doesn’t ignore is a pleasure unto itself.

I’m glad I have friends I can talk with.


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