What? I hear you ask. There's an art to it? Don't you just, kinda, speak to people?
Well, I don't know. And that's my problem. If it was that easy, I wouldn't have a problem. I've found that when it comes to chatting online, via instant messenger or what have you, it's very easy - most probably because I'm in the field of communication in which I'm most comfortable*: writing. Unfortunately, to live a happy life, I don't think I can go by solely writing to people. That distance would depress me, surely. Anyway, my problem is that, when it comes to "real life", I can't for the life of me think of what to say to people, which promptly invites those Awkward Silences that wait patiently in the shadows to come and ruin the atmosphere.
I mean, this is just another impromptu blog post, but some stuff from Will Grayson, Will Grayson got me thinking on how to become a better communicator. There's basically this character (Will Grayson) who believes that the 2 golden rules in life are to: 1) Shut up and 2) not care. Will is proved pretty much completely wrong, but if we tweaked those rules slightly, perhaps I'd get the 2 Golden Rules to the Art of Conversation? I'm not saying that this works, as I've just made it up right now, but I don't want to be one of those people who can't hold a conversation unless it's random and meaningless.
So in an attempt to better myself at communication, I will write myself a letter, prescribing my own advice.
Dear me, do refer back to this letter whenever you are in doubt,
Rule 1: Speak your mind; tell the truth. Avoid concealing emotions simply to save yourself. This is selfish. By hiding yourself and your emotions, you are hiding your personality and that way nobody can really know you.
I mean, this is probably why it's so much easier to speak on IMs/in writing. You don't have to confront their facial expressions and worry about if they care about what you're saying because they are behind the Veil of Virtuality, as are you. You can say what you want because the Veil gives you instances of unparalleled confidence. This is bad; it's like a drug. You will keep returning to this drug for that confidence and you will avoid Real Life because - there - the confidence is harder to attain. However, try. Follow Rule 1.
As this is inspired by Will Grayson, Will Grayson I feel compelled to retrieve a quote that backs up what I'm saying.
"So I just say what I'm thinking. "I know it sucks, but in a way, it's good." He looks at me like I've just said something absolutely idiotic, which of course I have. "Love and truth being tied together, I mean. They make each other possible, you know?" "
Rule 2: Don't care all the time; don't let it control you. Now, of course caring is important, otherwise whatever you spew will be robotic crap said only to serve the purpose of making conversation. By this, I don't mean it like Will did. I mean, don't over-care about what the other person thinks about you - unless he's, like, your employer and you're in an interview or something. You're allowed to care then, but otherwise, relax. Rule 1 works in tandem with this rule. So long as you can try to not give a fuck for a bit, you can more easily speak your mind and tell the truth.
Another Will Grayson, Will Grayson quote:
" "The idea is that for ten minutes, we forget that we have feelings. And we forget about protecting ourselves or other people and we just say the truth. For ten minutes. And then we can go back to being lame." "
This one is sort of the perfect conclusion, because it incorporates both Rules. But here's the thing, in those ten minutes, Will becomes an apparently different person by removing those barricades - it becomes about raw communication. By doing this, the girl he likes is shocked into saying, "Can you be like this permanently?"
I'm not saying you shouldn't care permanently - no, that's reckless and a lot of people will just want to stop speaking to you - but just care less about yourself.
Now, I know this is a class example of it being "easier said than done", but try. Try to follow these rules and see where they get you. If they don't work, we'll change them later.
Yours truly (no, truly truly, I actually am yours as you are mine),
Lo siento. No es posible que habría podido escribir este en español - es demasiado complicado. :) Sin embargo, todavía escribí un poco hoy, en español, así que ... sí :)
*This isn't the right word. It's not that I'm not comfortable communicating in other ways; it's just that I communicate best when I write.