The Art of Change Skills for Life

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When People Don’t Know What They’re Talking About

July 20, 2009 Dealing with Difficult People Persuasion 0

In today’s post, I’m going to explore what you can do when someone is talking to you about something you know that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Dummy

Talking heads. That’s the way we sometimes describe the punditocracy that fills the 24 hour news cycle with meaningless drivel and pointless blatherings.  But they news anchors aren’t the only talking heads.  There’s a whole host of pundits and radio/TV hosts who are paid for intentional blather and drivel. Some of them are outright blowhards.  They talk to be heard though what they say is of less importance to them than the fact that they’re saying it.

And some of them have come to believe the ridiculous things they say, which encourages them to say even more.  It’s the ultimate in self fulfilling prophecy.  The words go out their mouths, come back in through both their ears, and they think, “It must be right, I heard it twice!”

Maybe It’s something they learned to do in order to get by, to overcompensate for a weak character, or self-inflate as a way of getting scary others to back off.  But most the time,  it’s a situational effect, not because they are in the know, but because they either don’t know what they don’t know or they want to appear in the know in order to feel a part of rather than apart from what is happening around them.

It’s happened to me.  I think it’s more common than any of us may realize.  Truth to tell, if people limited their conversation to things they actually knew something about, they’d have a lot less to say and we’d all have more peace and quiet.  But people love to talk, like to participate in conversation, and triggered by a feeling, may get on a roll sometimes.  You probably do this too, because it is a common human trait. I hope you have people in your life who stop you from making a fool of yourself before you’ve held forth too long.  I sure do.  My wife and my daughter and my closest friends know I’d prefer to get my facts straight.  I get outta’ line, someone will tell me, “Hold on there!”

The danger is that, left uninhibited, and if nobody knows any better, the one doing the talking could potentially persuade the rest into making a bad call, a boneheaded decision, or choosing poorly and then paying the price. So when the ditto heads let the loudmouthed likes of Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh think for them, their ignorance may carry a steep price.

Now, I have to admit that even with the professional blowhards, there is the occasion where they know something about what they’re talking about. Doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about in general, because even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  Fact is, as long as people count loud mouthed punditry as entertainment, or worse, a viable source of credible information, the masters of self inflation will keep getting paid for their huff-and-puffery.

In my next post, I’ll tell you what you can do when someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and they’re NOT a professional blowhard.  I’d love to hear what you think you know on this subject.  Your comments are always welcome.

Be well
Rick

 

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