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May 28, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Things You Already Know But Just Need To Be Told

PAy Attention

You don’t listen. You may think you do but you don’t. You have become so obsessed with your own misplaced sense of specialness, you are so addicted to the idea that every idea of yours is genius, that everything that you come up with is gold hewn from your flawless brain gems, that you have ceased paying real attention to anything anyone is saying to you. You do not listen, you wait to speak.

Yes, you are hopelessly over-self-aware of the mythical nature of your own specialness, but that does not sober you from your constant ego-drunkenness. You could really afford to the learn from actual introverts. Now, you may call yourself an introvert or secretly consider yourself one but you aren’t. That sense of your preference to keep to yourself is just a lie, designed by your brain in a desperate attempt to fool yourself into believing that you really need to say every word-gob you spit into existence. You don’t. You just want to be smart. You aren’t. You want to have something to contribute. You don’t.

You know that really annoying thing where someone chimes into a conversation or raises their hand in a lecture only to say something either only tangentially related to what’s going on or something that has already been mentioned. It really pisses you off right? Well, guess what.

You do that all the time.

Seriously. All the fucking time. You need to train yourself to become aware exactly how often you tune out of conversation just to think of something interesting to say to fill the deafening silence that runs through your soul and echoes in your heart as insignificance and shit. Because it is basically constant. I want you to list in your brain the last handful or so things you’ve added to a conversation that you thought was particularly interesting and relevant. Now think about what the conversation was about immediately prior your opening of your damned maw?

You can’t remember. If you think you can you are stuck in the phone line psychic corner of either lying or being profoundly delusional on the verge of mental illness. You can’t remember because you don’t listen. You think you’re smart enough to fill in the blanks, to muddle along. You are caught in paradox of your own making. You aren’t smart because you don’t pay attention because you’re busy trying to see smart. There is an easy way out of that loop but you won’t like it.

You are going to have to become okay with the concept that not everything you hear or read or see or experience requires your response. It is hard but you have to do it. You are an addict to your own blah, and the only way to help an addict is to let him hit rock bottom, so, to encourage such an experience for you, know this–all your friends, all your colleagues, all your classmates, everyone is sick of your shit. People are growing so tired of how little you pay attention, of how much to force your thoughts and your views on them. You need to start to listen or you will end up being as alone as you feel.

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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