If you ask my family and friends they will all unanimously tell you that I talk a lot, like a LOT. So it would be a surprising fact to note that I listen, in fact I listen to more than what is being said. I observe the tone of voice and the body language; I note the words used and the effect the talker is trying to achieve. I also note ‘trends’ of certain words or expressions being popularly used. With this information I am able to tell who has been watching which program, who’s been talking to whom. This means that I know more than people tell me and it’s not the lack of interest that stops me asking more questions, it’s the fact that I already know just from listening and observing. For example when speaking to my sister about a subject I note that she uses a new expression, I make a mental scan of previous conversations and cannot find that expression previously used by her. It’s definitely a new addition. It takes me a week to find the source; a TV programme. On a dinner out with a friend after listening for a while I realise he has been talking with another friend we have in common, this I know because of the exact words he uses to express ‘his opinion’ on the matter at hand.
In fact one noteworthy moment was at a night out with colleagues when drinking my colleague came up to me, probably had worked on the line for ages, and told me ‘I don’t know how you comb your hair so the horns don’t show?’ to which I promptly replied by laughing and asking him ‘I don’t know how you have the front to give me a line from Scrubs with such a straight face my friend? I do watch TV you know!’ to which he stood there in what I am hoping was embarrassment. He isn’t the only one to do this, my brother also regularly asks me what he thinks are ‘funny spur of the moment and insightful’ questions....straight from popular TV shows....I don’t watch much TV but when I do I do it properly and note the tone of each programme so even if I haven’t watched every episode I can identify a line from it since each show has a certain ‘tone’ which is obviously the script writer’s ‘style’.
Why are people doing this? Are people are worried that they are not interesting enough? Do they want to play it safe? I don’t know the reason at all but I am beginning to think that we are running out of ideas and original thought. Seems people are simply ‘copy-pasting’ in real life by using lines from movies, programmes and sitcoms as a short-cut to being interesting and funny. There should at least be a mention of who said something when repeating it, otherwise its verbal plagiarism.
What’s my point? My point is that I find it difficult to feign interest when people try to pass off ideas and opinions straight out of TV shows and programmes or that they heard from other people. I listen when people tell me original thoughts, when they share their ideals with me. I listen in awe when a certain annoyingly philosophical friend tells me his beautiful but crazy thoughts about life; I listen intently when my sweet little niece explains to me a theory she developed about why people react differently to the same situation. I also listen carefully when people tell me about an insane idea which probably will never make it in the business sector, but is original and very idealistic.
Allow yourself to express your own opinions, let the flow of original thought to come to your words. You don’t always have to be insightful or comical, life isn’t a sitcom. If everyone on earth can have a ‘unique finger print’ surely they can also have an original thought. Speak in your own words; express yourself honestly with words that mean something to you, using your heart as the guide. A few simple words can be all that it takes.