Thursday, April 21, 2011

What?

A brief followup to a previous post.

Have you ever noticed how often people ask "what?" or "huh?" You could be looking right at the person and say something, and they'll say "huh?" So you repeat yourself. Then they answer.

Well a while ago I got tired of repeating everything I said, and I waited a beat. To my surprise the person responded anyway! He heard exactly what I said, and yet he said "what?" So I started doing it more. Instead of repeating myself right away, I paused a beat. More than half the time the person responded. They heard me just fine.

So why'd they say what? It's not just a few people. Everyone does it. I think it's a way to cover for thought time. We heard what the person said; we're considering how to respond, so we act like we didn't to cover up the need to think of a response. I know, because I've caught myself doing it, too.

I just wait. Odds are the other person did hear me. They're just thinking. It's saved me a lot of repeats.

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