August 4, 2009 at 11:43 am | Posted in Family, Hearing, Mind, People, Society | 2 Comments
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Very. Hard. Work.

When watching a social event, you can tune in to any number of conversations, provided you do so singly.

As soon as you’re following one thread, any auditory stimulus directed at you (e.g. a question from another quarter) crosses your wires.

This can even happen at a small table, with just four people.

You can focus perfectly on one thing, but not at all on two.

This is why you turn off the radio when writing, searching for street numbers or reverse parking.

As you’re genuinely interested in what people have to say, you may wonder why they don’t take turns to speak – so everyone gets a ‘go’ and nothing’s missed.

Instead, they all want to talk at once, often over each other, invariably using each other’s stories merely as a point of departure for their own.

And even if you tap your glass with a knife, call for silence, describe your difficulty and request order, it seems the nature of conversation is to revert swiftly to chaos.

Especially with families.

Incredibly, some people even have a television on while chatting with guests.

If your imprecations fall on deaf ears, you may be best advised to ‘unjam’ yourself by taking a short walk somewhere quiet.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.



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  1. Multi tasking is not one of my strengths, indeed even when I’m listening to music, I sit and listen. Music is not a background activity for me.

    Even conversation can be enervating if there is more than one person (other than me).

    Give me large blocks of space, quiet and time over social activity any day.


    • Delightful to see you again, Catherine. (And your use of ‘enervating’ is a rare treat.) I love hearing your take on these matters. And you can rest assured that when YOU speak, I listen very, VERY carefully! With best regards and many thanks for your visit. P. 🙂

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