How to Talk to Bores, and What Truman Capote Teaches Us About Being Interesting
From Barbara Walters book How to Talk to Practically Anyone About Practically Anything.
A bore has feelings. Very often he will interrupt something boring he is saying to comment that he is a bore. His wife comes over and inquires sweetly, “Is he boring you?”
If he is, maybe it’s your fault. “Being interested makes one interesting,” Dr. Erich Fromm observed, to which I would add that you generally get out of a conversation what you put into it.
Truman Capote has a natural gift that makes him a great guest at a dinner party: he is always interested in whomever he’s talking to. For one thing, he really looks at the person he is with. Most of us see outlines of one another, but Truman is noting skin texture, voice tone, details of clothing.
One of the reasons that Truman is always interested in people is that he won’t allow himself to be bored. He told me that when he meets a truly crashing bore he asks himself, “Why am I so bored? What is it about this person that is making me yawn?” He ponders, “What should this person do that he hasn’t done? What does he lack that might intrigue me?”
He catalogues thoughtfully the bore’s face, his hair style, his mannerisms, his speech patterns. He tries to imagine how the bore feels about himself, what kind of a wife he might have, what he likes and dislikes. To get the answers, he starts to ask some of these questions aloud. In short, Truman gets so absorbed in finding out why he is bored that he is no longer bored at all.
Thanks for “Brain Pickings Weekly.” http://www.brainpickings.org/
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