The Non-Listener

Yea, uh-huh, right, yep, absolutely. You know this person. Hell, you've been this person. The person I speak of is the Non-Listener. Vacant. Glossy. Unconnected. Symptoms of the Non-Listener, the Already Heard It, the Who Gives A Flip.

In my humble experiences I've found that the Non-Listener doesn't mean to non-listen, they just simply can't help it. The Non-Listener is genuinely disinterested. They tried to be interested, bless their heart, they did. For that brief three seconds after they finished speaking. The problem lies in the fact that you speaking is not them speaking, and they only care for them speaking, so henceforth, they check out.

The Non-Listener, however, was not thrust into this world as such, but rather, they developed into one over time. At first, you see, they were the Self-Talker. The Self-Talker is exactly that, one who chooses to speak of and only of him or herself at all times to all people in all places in all situations forever and ever Amen.

The Non-Listener is the caterpillar to the Self-Talker's cocoon. There is no butterfly in this analogy. The Self-Talker whirls and spins, dazzles with rhetoric and flashes of teeth and in one triumphant show they ignite into a ball of fire and explode into a thousand pieces. Those pieces then settle on the ground, and over the course of the next few moments, moments filled with your sincere words which fall on deaf ears, nonetheless, those pieces form into the flimsy, clear shell of the Non-Listener.

See, the Self-Talker's said their part, they've spun their web. They're done. They're now content to become the Non-Listener, for they care not and nonly listening is example of that caring not.

They've finished talking about themselves for now, so hurry, hurry and get in whatever trivial drivel you'd like to set upon their ears for they're only waiting for their next moment of resurgence. They won't wait long, though, as evidenced through the incessant and rapid eye flicks, toe taps, feigned laughter, and of course, the yea's, uh-huh's, yep's, and absolutely's.

But alas! I would not describe to you merely the problems of such individuals in today's society, but also suggest a few ways to battle them whence contact is made!

I like to throw a curve at the Non-Listener every once in awhile to see as to the extent of their non-listening. Test the waters, if you will.

My house is dead.
The sun burped.
You are the devil.

The Non-Listener is so fixated on what they're about to give word-birth to that their ears have sealed shut, their eyes closed, their mind strays, the vortex of the universe is undulating deeply inside of them, for they are about to bestow upon you the secret of life, the galaxy's deepest mysteries. Say whatever you like to distract, but in most cases, it will be too late. They're lost. I suggest halting your speech, opening an umbrella and preparing for a torrential downpour of word rain.

The conversation has gone from one-sided to no-sided. After all, you don't bounce things off of a wall when you speak to a Non-Listener. There is no wall, therefore, there is no side. It's a no-sided conversation. Simply a vacuous hole of infinite and dense nothingness, as far as the mouth can speak.

A sadder day there never was, the day an Even and Just Conversationalist such as yourself comes into contact with the Self-Talker/Non-Listener. I'm saddened for you and for them. And for me and for us. We're probably around somewhere, having to listen in an elevator or at an adjacent booth at Luby's.

Just remember, if you truly want to be victorious on the field of Conversation that day with your run-in with the Non-Listener, you mustn't relinquish control, you must stay the course, and fight fire with fire.

To the Self-Talker become the Non-Listener and to the Non-Listener become the Self-Talker.

Yes, it solves nothing. But why is that your fault? Why do people always want to be the solution? I find that being no better than anyone else makes it easier to sleep at night time. There's less pressure.

Justin Claus HarderComment