So, is it just me, or does it seem like all of a sudden there’s an over-abundance of adult people who just don’t know how to shut the fuck up?
I’m currently thinking there’s a definite and urgent need for me to Marie Kondo the shit out of my friend list, while all this “Does it spark joy in your life?” juju is swirling around in our collective consciousness. There is a small yet noisy number of humans I regularly interact with who have not-so-quietly moved into the Absolutely Not Sparking Any Joy Whatsoever category of my life.
I’ve been pondering why this is happening. Besides the fact that the whole damn world seems more than a bit messed up, what with Himalayan glaciers melting, the polar vortex freezing our naughty bits off, and the fact that we still have an orange imbecile “leading” the free world.
Here’s the blame game I’m playing.
First – social media, and why not? We blame it for a host of issues which it most certainly deserves blame for. Lost productivity and shrinking self-esteem, step aside because I assert that one of the worst effects of social media saturation is that people have now become accustomed to saying whatever the hell they want, for as long as they want, whenever they want to.
Fuming at a (fake) news story? Spout forth your opinion ad nauseam in the online comments. Envious that your bitchy co-worker is posting pictures of the new car she just purchased with her holiday bonus that was far larger than yours? Let loose with your fiercest feelings about job place discrimination until you feel better, your thumbs are sore from vent-texting, or you decide a few glasses of wine will take the rest of the edge off.
We live in a “Step right up and tell us exactly how you feel” world thanks to social media, because there’s always a plethora of platforms for you to share and spew on. Subsequently, more of us are in the habit of going on and on and on… kinda like I’m doing right now.
Secondly, I blame aging because it’s just a sucky reality shit show. Years ago, when my skin was smoother and I had a working metabolism, I’d get together with other Moms, and we’d all engage in the usual back and forth of Kid Q and A: Is your daughter still throwing grocery store temper tantrums this week? Has your son fallen out of any more trees? These types of concerns eventually turned into discussions like: Does your kid have Mr. Jones for homeroom? Will yours being playing soccer again this season? The usual Mom shit.
Now that my kids are post-high school age, there’s so much less of that, ‘cause we’re just kind of over it, and there’s so much more of, “Let me tell you about ME, ME, ME. Oh, and let me tell you some more about ME, ME, ME.” I’d actually rather hear about your struggles to get your kid to stop licking the dog’s butt, than hear about your Mom’s cousin who loves to watch documentaries on Netflix with Spanish closed captioning on because isn’t that SO HILARIOUS? See me not laughing? STFU.
But I have myself to blame as well. I’ve been told I’m a good listener, apparently an expert. I love talking to people – IF it’s about interesting topics, AND there’s a somewhat even exchange of information, thoughts, and feelings. I like to ask people questions and learn about their life. I truly enjoy debate on controversial topics, provided people can remain respectful and have intelligent reasoning for their opinions. I like to dig deep when it comes to conversation.
However, when someone decides to hijack a discussion, and hardly lets another person break into their soliloquy, all enjoyment dissolves. Lug that jumbo-sized trash bag over, Marie Kondo, because it’s time for an ultimatum, and a probable friend dump.
Here’s what you loquacious ones need to hear and process – provided you can shut your pie hole for a brief respite.
If you’re speaking for longer than a full two minutes and no one else has spoken, STFU.
If you are telling me a paralyzingly vapid story about a distant someone I’ve never met, and I will never meet, unless that person is offering up life-changing weight loss or sex tips that I and the universe desperately need to know about, STFU.
If you are blabbering on about a minuscule detail of your job, that no one else comprehends or gives one half of a shit about, STFU.
If you are meticulously dispensing advice to people who have already experienced what you have just discovered and incorrectly think is novel information for all ears to hear, STFU.
If you are gossiping about people using “facts” that are third-hand hearsay from sketchy sources, STFU.
If you glance around while words continue to discharge from your oral cavity and people have stopped making eye contact, no one is nodding in agreement or saying, “Wow, go on,” STFU.
If you cannot adhere to these basic rules of verbal engagement, from this point forward, I will be avoiding you like three-day-old deli sushi.
And while it doesn’t pain me to discard old sweaters and a striped couch from the early 90’s, it does cause me distress to shed a friendship. As we age and life circumstances change, friends can fall by the wayside frequently unless we actively work to retain connections. It’s a sad fact of life.
Friends should be valued and enjoyed. But when it simply becomes a dreadful chore to spend time with them, and each day brings a deeper understanding that life is damn short, a line must be drawn somewhere – perhaps with duct tape over a pair of moving lips.
Farewell to the excessive talkers. And now I will STFU.