[“A polar bear walks into a bar, I’ll have a gin and……………tonic. The barman asks…”.]
A friend once discussed with me my telephone technique. She said that she regularly counted to see how long it would be until I spoke if she didn’t. Eventually, just like the barman she asked, “……why the long pause?” She said she could never let it go on too long, because it made her feel funny, whatever that means. I personally don’t notice the pause, I’m quiet because at that point I have nothing to say. I’ve had to use a phone for work and I’ve learnt that in certain circumstances one must try to fill the gaps, but when I’m tired or just being myself, I struggle to do so. I guess it comes down to a kind of reciprocity. There appears to be an unspoken rule (which is a little ironic!) that states you’ve both entered into a two way movement of words, which must be spoken with a degree of regularity, that will mean at no point, will either wonder where the other has gone and therefore create, that terrible of terribles, something often referred to, as an ‘atmosphere’. I just don’t have that thought, need or awareness. Not innately. I have to remember to try and do it.
I also forget not to say how I’m actually feeling, or rather, I make no attempt to pretend I’m feeling other than how I am. It’s such hard work and unless I’m really trying not blow my cover and consciously, with a lot of effort, be someone or something I’m not, I just don’t, or rarely can, perhaps won’t. It’s just not me.
As with the polar bear, why the long pause? Well, we’re just born like that!
© Paul C Siebenthal Sept 2012.
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