posted by Matt W on June 25th, 2014

I’m a slow talker. Really, I am. What I didn’t know was how slow of a listener I am.

My dog recently had to spend a few days at the Vet Hospital (for all you Sundance fans out there he is doing quite well now). He had a very nice Vet in charge of his case. She seemed to be very good at her job, but spoke so amazingly fast I could barely understand her. I literally had to release my brain and go into a Zen like listening trance just to keep up. On a speed of speech scale from 1 to 10, she was most definitely an 11. I’m a 1. When speaking to her on the phone, I could not keep up. I finally handed the phone to my wife, and said, “You need to talk to her; I can’t understand what she’s saying.”

Later, I was chatting about my dog with my masseuse who also talks pretty fast, and I mentioned how fast the Vet talked. She replied, “Well, you’re the slowest talker I know. I would imagine that would be weird for you, like another language.” Exactly… Thank you… I think.

And then I spent time with Joe A. and his family. His wife is another fast talker, but for the most part decipherable. Every once in a while, she has so much stuff that needs to escape her head at one time that she kicks it into warp speed and leaves me in a different thought galaxy to ponder other things more slowly. I mentioned this to my wife and she said, “I love talking to Joe’s wife and the Vet, they are such a great speed to listen to. My mind just soaks up what they say without any effort. When I listen to you, I always feel like I need to finish your sentence or also be doing something else.” Et tu, Brute?

I am a slow talker; I admit it freely. But when I say something, I try to make it count. When listening to people, I constantly break down what they say and churn it up in my head to come up with interesting bits of information for the next thing to say. I think most introverts do. When people speak so amazingly fast, my brain process breaks down, and I usually go on to some other more interesting part of my mind to ponder something else, while nodding in agreement as if I were actually listening.

Well, apparently some of the things I say are actually heard. The massage therapist continued her thought after she got the kink out of my hip.  “I will say that I always try to slow down my listening when I’m with you because what you say is always interesting or funny. It’s what I usually talk about with the other therapists the rest of the day.” See, some of the time it pays to listen to the introvert, we might actually be saying something worth listening to.

I probably should have tipped her more for that.



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