Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Don't Know What I Am Talking About

I had someone present a very funny statement to me recently (not in the har-har sort of way), although it was quite confirming of how I often feel around certain people.

"well Libby, I remember you saying that but I just wrote it off thinking you didn't know what you were talking about!"

This specific conversation was about a certain piece of health advice I had given to a friend who scarcely felt under the weather. Now, I'm no expert, but between my very threatening 6 month bout of mono (and all the after effects of that I still deal with almost a decade later), my long list of food and environment allergies, kidney stones... I have managed to pick up a tidbit or two of knowledge.

Of course, though, as it so often plays out, nobody listened to me. And of course, as it often (not always) plays out, I ended up being right.

Now, before you dub me as a self-centered girl with an "always right" complex- let me explain.

I am knowledgable in a handful of things, expert in hardly any. But I work very hard to not speak unless I am sure I know what I am talking about.

It's difficult, and a constant battle. I'm mostly an extrovert, I enjoy a good conversation, I love to soak up the knowledge of others. But I hope I never speak just to hear myself, and I would hope, like the courtesy I strive to share with others, that people would at least consider the things other people have taken the time to say.

I am not always an expert in holding my tongue, sometimes I get such an exciting thought that is just bursting out of my lips. But what I want to say is no more important that what the other person is in the middle of saying- and I think that could be a lesson for everyone to learn and relearn. And relearn again.

I have a close friend who often finds herself in conversation with a woman who, during an hour-long conversation, somehow manages to never ask a single question, let alone take a breath for any kind of 2-way banter. In the rare occasion she does ask a question, she cuts off your answer to keep talking about herself. You know the type.

"I just don't understand how one person can have so many words!"

I have heard her say this on more than one occasion. Conversation with that certain woman are usually dreaded, and how sad is that!? I'm quite sure at least part of what she says carries meaning, interest, and importance. If all of that is muddled by the mundane, self-centered fluff, however- it goes by unheard.

I want to make my words count. I don't want to be that girl that people walk away from a conversation with and think, "I didn't get a word in edge-wise!"  or worse, "she surely doesn't know what she is talking about!"

I want my carefully- thought words be heard. I don't want to be written off, as I am sure you don't want to either.

What are some conversations you can think of that relate? Has someone written you off, or didn't hear what you had to say?


  1. Ah, I always don't want to be that person either. Every once and awhile I leave a conversation and think, "I hope they didn't feel I was monopolizing that discussion." But, hey, at least if we are conscious of this then that is a good thing I think!

    1. I think so! That's probably why we always have such great conversations!

  2. A great post. I'm an introvert myself, and on many occasions have been asked to give a opinion. A sign of a great conversationalist is one who can silence the express-train talkers. Usually, conversations I've been in that become quite hot and lively, and sometimes hostile, are those involving religion and/or beliefs (quite understandable frankly)... though it's amazing how quickly people can be dismissed for their honest opinion.
    But alas, we are humans, and such people, for all their faults, and ours, add a bit of spice to life, we just need to learn (and as you say relearn) how to take them with a pinch of salt.
    God Bless

    1. Thank you, Steven! Words of wisdom, for sure. I have followed your blog, and look forward to other great thoughts!

  3. Nice post. There is much buzz these days re: the power of introverts, @Steven and @Libby. I'm sure you both are familiar with the book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts" by Susan Cain. I love that there is some focus being given to this subject. Love your respect for all humans, @Steven! Appreciatively, Lynn

    1. Thank you for reading, Lynn! I will have add that book to my "to read" list.