short changed

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Morning cup of teaRecently I spent a long weekend on holiday with a friend – seeing the local sights pottering around in Thomas and on foot, eating local delicacies, and sharing a room in a thatched cottage.

I learned that I am more comfortable with silence than my friend. It felt like my friend talked almost non-stop. They didn’t, but it felt like it. As if they needed to fill every silence with words.

At first, I listened to all the words, then gradually my mind wandered away. Their words like a radio programme chattering in the background as my thoughts wandered around the fabulous autumn Devon views. My friend didn’t appear to need my listening, no input from me needed.

Normally living alone, with much silence, I found this stream of talking most strange. On the occasions when my friend was silent they were tapping away into their phone, or computer, presumably social networking. They would read, with verbal annotation and explanation, the text’s they’d received.  This total sharing is not something I’m used to. Unsolicited, it felt somehow inappropriate. I suspect it was actually some kind of generous gift of openness, non-exclusion. A sweet generous friend.

If I said something, made a statement, it would be followed by my friend’s analysis of the topic of my statement. I learned a lot about my friend. They learned about my silences and way of being,  little more.  They didn’t ask. I wonder if they felt short-changed.

short changed
1 vote rating 4

5 bits of lovely banter on “short changed”

  1. scarlet writes:

    I always offer large slices of cake when people won’t be quiet.



    James Sutherland writes

    You’ll probably find a good strong toffee more effective and economical – though there’s always the risk of increased dental cost.

    I find the “need for noise” quite infuriating, personally – what’s wrong with just sitting reading quietly to yourself?! Sharing the occasional amusing snippet can be nice, but not constant chatter.



  2. p-g writes:

    My sincere sympathies – but might your friend not read this blog?



  3. wendy writes:

    My friend does read this blog, so I’ll find out if I was experienced as sulky, surly, non-communicative and we’ll agree we’re different and raise a glass to diversity. Meanwhile, I’ll stock my car with toffees (thanks James) and fridge with cake (thanks Scarlet).



  4. Stefan writes:

    I have to agree with James. I cannot for the life of me understand why the kids these days always seem to listen to music (or whatever they listen to). It’s a rare exception you see someone under 25 without a headset of some sort. Sometimes even during a walk in the woods – can you believe it? What’s wrong with listening to birds, the wind, the rustling of leaves or even your own thoughts?

    Maybe humanity is splitting into two kinds of people: some with the “need for noise” and some with the “need for peace and quiet”. I know in which category I fall …



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