Prior to this entry I would like to point out that I do not consider myself a great conversationalist or academic. I actually consider myself rather boring under most circumstances.
As a child I was raised to always be polite, particularly to elders. On most occasions I found it easy but sometimes I would find myself drifting off into another world if someone was talking about something that held absolutely no interest to me. I guess they never noticed my glazed eyes as they harped on as they never commented on it.
In my early 20’s I played in rock bands. After countless gigs and playing the same songs night after night I had to learn to apply this feigned interest even further.
Doing the aforementioned same songs night after night, pulling off the same moves at the same time and making it look ‘fresh’ and spontaneous took a bit of work. I managed to get through by constantly reminding myself that I’m playing these songs to a different crowd who had never heard or seen us before.
Then there was the ‘mingling’ aspect after a gig. Fans would inevitably praise and congratulate you the same way that a different group of fans had done the night before. As boring as it was, I found feigning interest easy as all I had to do was give the same answers as I had the previous night being sure to employ an enthusiastic and grateful tone.
It wasn’t until I became a Registered Nurse that I became really good at feigning interest. I had no choice. When it came to professional duties then one has to pay attention otherwise you’re a negligent nurse. On the flip-side there was constant small-talk with patients, visitors and work colleagues. Much of this small-talk was either irrelevant, repetitive or gossip. Frankly I’d rather be on Mars during such conversations but as part of my professional duties I had to play the game.
It was over these years of experience in dealing with monotonous conversation that I came to enjoy socialising. I could talk to, who I considered, the most boring person ad nauseum about something I knew nothing about, nor did I want to. People came to enjoy my company due to my manners and I was often lumbered by ‘the boring person’ at a function. I didn’t mind. Having said this, I rarely socialise these days. Through my years in playing in bands, nursing and life in general I feel that I have socialised more than most people my age. I must say, I don’t miss it.
As mentioned at the beginning of this entry, I do not consider myself a great conversationalist. I find myself quite average on that front. I do, however, like to consider myself a polite person.