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If you have something to say, say it.
If you use Twitter at all you’ll find a variety of different conversations going on at all times. Some people are a little limited and will only tweet on one subject, but eventually you get used to that. I try to distract them off-topic into the world of normal conversation, bring them out of their shell a bit.
But then you get the MeTweeters. The people whose every single tweet is about their lives, their dreams, their purchases. Instead of interacting with the world they choose to put themselves up on a pedestal and say ‘Enough of your stuff, let’s talk about me!’
You find these people in everyday life. In the workplace there’ll be a conversation and then someone will pop in with a leading statement which just begs you to follow up with a question, something they can use to triumphantly talk about themself pretending that after all, someone did ask!
“Of course my holiday in Rio was the second best holiday I’ve ever had…”
“My father used to bring famous people to parties at my house when I was young…”
or they’ll just start with a random question about a subject they know you have no knowledge of.
“What did you think about the offer George made to me?”
If you answer “Oh, what was the first?”, “Like who?” or “What offer’s that?” then you are just assisting these oxygen-stealers.
These are just some of the classic ploys they’ll use to get you to ask them about their fabulous lives.
Frequently I’ll hear “ohhh, I just don’t know what to do…” or “That’s it, I’ve decided” or “Men! >Harrumph<“.
Why can’t they just come out and say what they want to say? Why this repetetive charade? Just say what you want to say, don’t make me have to winkle it out of you.
Where possible I evade these narcissistic people, by not asking the question they so obviously prime you for. But there’s always one person, usually a girl, who will just walk straight into the trap. My eyes roll, I curse under my breath and wait for the inevitable monologue from the self-involved. Believe it or not, some people don’t realise they’re being manipulated like this. It’s astonishing that something so blatant can completely pass people by, but people can be extraordinarily naïve and gullible.
Heavy sigh when it comes and yes, it’s either something of no interest to you or it’s annoying boasting. No, I don’t care that you’ve been backstage with Travis. Oh you once sailed around the Caribbean with Hugh Grant’s nephew in a luxury yacht? I had a walking holiday in Norfolk, sleeping in a tent at night. I could barely move after the second day, want to hear more? No of course you don’t, because it’s not about you is it, precious?
You might suddenly realise during a long phone call with a friend that they haven’t asked how you are or your opinions on any subject. They show no sympathy for your problems or no desire to do anything which isn’t for their own benefit. This is the point where I realise they’re not actually my friend at all, I’m just their sounding board.
Next time you hear a loaded remark, please please please don’t give them what they want. Maybe in time such an approach could make people a little less selfish. But only if everyone did it. Yeah, never gonna happen is it?