Can we talk about talking for a minute? Conversations, and conversation killers. Real conversations, where you’re sitting around discussing something with one or more people. And specifically, conversation killers.
Twice in recent memory, I’ve been involved in a discussion with a conversation killer. The first was regarding ways to get a healthy grab-and-go breakfast. I had just found the Yoplait Smoothie Mixes in the freezer section (I should do a product review on them. They’re awesome!), and wanted to share this yummy discovery with my friends. I mentioned the product, and immediately, one of the girls screwed up her face and said, “Eeeewww, gross!! That stuff is disgusting!!”
I was surprised, because we’re talking strawberry/banana milkshakes here! So I asked her, “disgusting? What’s so disgusting about it?”
“I hate yogurt. It’s got a weird texture to it. I can’t eat it, it’s disgusting. I won’t put it in my mouth.”
“Ok, well, for everyone else…” But, from that moment on, the momentum of the conversation was gone. She just kept shaking her head, “no”, and making gagging faces until the rest of us changed the subject and started discussing something else.
And then, in a different conversation, with a different person, at a different place, at a different time, I mentioned, “So, it was lunchtime, I was starving, so I decided to stop off at Hardee’s, ‘cause they’ve got these new chicken tenders that I wanted to try…”
And was immediately interrupted with, “Aw, GAK! I HATE Hardee’s!! I don’t know how you can eat there!!”
“Well, I like them, so I was going to stop, and…”
“But they’re nasty! I won’t go there. I don’t know how you can.”
And, even though the actual story I was going to tell had nothing to do with Hardee’s except that it’s the place I was on my way to when the actual event happened… the conversation came to a screeching halt. Because this person, too, was screwing up her nose in distaste, and frankly, I didn’t want to discuss anything with her at that point.
Why do people do this? Is it a control issue? If one person doesn’t like something when another person says that they do, why does the first feel compelled to tell just how much they hate it, to the point of actually shutting down the conversation? Or is it just me who can’t handle it? Because I shut the conversation down out of frustration with that person.
What about you? Has this ever happened to you ? How do you handle it?