Who’s Listening? Who’s Talking?

Group dynamics are fascinating to me.

What prompts one person to jump into a discussion repeatedly while another individual never says a thing?

Within the last month or so I have found myself with groups of people in different social situations.

Entirely different groups of people but I noticed an interesting similarity in them.

A few individuals dominated each event conversationally and in each group there was at least one person who never uttered a word.  The silent individuals seemed to be enjoying themselves but never interjected one comment.

I love a lively exchange of ideas or thoughts but find monopolized conversations interesting.

Tonight I was with friends that know me very well and had been in one of the situations with me. They mentioned that in these types of situations I usually sit back and observe. So true. They caught me watching and listening. I am often a chatterbox but in these scenarios I am an observer. I (hopefully) surreptitiously study the other people in the group to gage their reaction to the monologue.

I bring all of this up for a couple of reasons.

  • One, it is good to have such great friends that know me so well-even when I am using my highly developed people watching skills.
  • Two, should I become the monopolizer I trust that one of the aforementioned pals send a spit wad my way to remind me to shut my trap…because it could happen.
  • Three, at least once I would like the quiet ones to commandeer the conversation. Just for fun and shock value.
  • Four, I wanted to use the word surreptitiously but have never found an opportunity in everyday conversation.  Besides, I didn’t have to pronounce it…just confirm the spelling.

It’s your turn. Answer one of the following questions.

What is your typical behavior in a group situation?

How have you used surreptitiously in an everyday conversation?



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