Category Archives: Inner Demons

To Listen or Nah?

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To Listen or Nah?

It’s come to my attention (over the last three years) from someone who is as close to me as close can be (ehm) that when I listen during a conversation I don’t actually listen.

He loves to talk in complex and lengthy monologues with endless analogies. The king of analogies. I usually get what he’s trying to say within the first handful of similes and metaphors, and so I start to tap out or make a personal connection with what he is saying and eagerly cut the monologue short in order to not forget what I want to share by the time he moves on to yet another analogy.

Now these monologues are quite creative and often interesting, but I believe I may have the attention span of a teenager and it is really difficult to stay engaged. I don’t think I choose to stop listening- it’s just an off switch that my mind makes automatically.

He’s in the middle of describing how difficult grad school is and what new things are being thrown at him (and its hard) and suddenly I’m wondering about dinner, or I remember I didn’t check my emails or I start to play Words With Friends.

I know it’s rude, I just don’t know how to fix it. I tell myself I’ll try harder next time, but I forget my resolve when next time comes.

I have started to pay attention to the flow of conversations. They do interrupt. That’s how the current moves and the conversation shifts from one person to the next. The person talking more often than not gets interrupted. Not in a rude or disrespectful way. The person listening notices a slight pause or finds a strong connection with something the speaker just said and jumps in. That’s how a conversation is made.

If we waited until the speaker is done speaking before we take a turn, the conversation becomes stagnant and disengaging. In one 30 second monologue, the listener may end up having 5 connections. But if we wait until the end of the spiel we’ll forget the past four connections and only talk on the last one (unless your memory is that of an elephant). Plus, the flow, the current that the conversation rides on, becomes a one way stream that switches course abruptly and randomly.

I do believe that conversations require the delicate balance of appropriate interjections and interruptions. That’s the way it should flow: back and forth, like the waves of an ocean. My problem is knowing when to interrupt to say my part and to do that I must actively listen to the whole conversation- not disengage randomly.

Conversations are tricky and I’m still learning.

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Free: Self Depreciation- Needs To Go ASAP!

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Free: Self Depreciation- Needs To Go ASAP!

It’s that day every female despises. You wake up not in the best of moods, take a shower, and start getting dressed. After you discard your 5th outfit (yes, you’ve already tried on five- and two pairs of jeans won’t even fit past your thighs) your mind begins to whisper evil things to you.

It starts off simple:

“You’re fat.”

“You’ve gained weight.”

“How does this not fit anymore?”

“What the heck did I used to wear with these pants?”

“I have nothing to wear!”

By now you’re running from your closet to the baskets of clean clothes in the living room and then to the plastic drawers in your bedroom, only wearing a pair of skinny jeans that barely fit and your bra. You’re looking for a shirt that isn’t too loose or too tight to go with the jeans.

It’s cold outside. All the “just right shirts” are sleeveless and summer-y. It rained all night so you can’t wear your loose wider leg jeans because they’ll be soaked in no time.

You wonder if you should just put on gym clothes.

“It’ll encourage me to go to the gym later today,” you think to yourself. But you don’t put the gym clothes on.

As you try on yet another shirt, you look at the mirror and wonder, “Where did this roll come from?”

This is when your mind-demon starts to get extra evil.

“Why is this so hard?”

“You’re disgusting.”

“How’d I let myself get to this?”

“You’re massive.”

“You’re a nasty lump of fat.”

“You’re ugly.”

“I hate my body.”

“I hate myself.”

By this point you’ve degraded yourself so much in your head that you are almost numb to all the hate that is oozing out of your pores. This is normal on a day like this.

You throw off the shirt. Sit down to a breakfast of scrambled eggs and turkey sausage that your boyfriend made you, all the while silently thinking, “I wish starving worked” or “I just want to go live in the gym” or “I may as well give up now.”

After scarfing down the eggs that you didn’t even taste, you go back to a white shirt you tried earlier.

“This’ll have to work. It will cover me up enough that I don’t have to worry about the rolls.”

It’s sleeveless, not too loose but not too snug either, and so you look for a cardigan to keep warm and grab your leather jacket. The cardigan you had in mind is no where to be found.

“Honey, remember picking that cardigan up from the floor yesterday- the black one with the white stripes on the sleeve?”

“Yeah?” he answers from the kitchen.

“Do you know where it went?”

“No… this is why we need to start putting things away right away,” he says distantly.

You ignore the comment. You’re not about to start an argument with him. You’re already upset and if you begin to argue it may get big and ruin his day too.

You can’t find the cardigan. You sit down. Grab your phone and start a blog post about a day like this.

You look at the time. It’s time to go. You rush into your closet, grab a maroon cardigan, put it on and then put your leather jacket over it. You quickly grab your boots and zip them up.

You’re too busy for your mind-demon. He retreats for now, sulking in the back of your mind. He’ll be back later- you just know it. But for now you’re too busy for him. You rush out the door.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a cry for help. These days come and go and usually I’m ok with myself- sometimes even proud of how I look. I just believe that I’m not the only one with demons in my head like this and I wanted to write this to show others that we are not alone. No matter how beautiful we are, our demons will find a flaw. And it’s time to stamp out the demon.