Kind of like the right amount to eat — the ideal portion size and the mix of nutrients may or may not be regularly appraised. We tend to speak on autopilot, whether to ourselves, our significant other, strangers, family members, work colleagues, yadda yadda.
I’m not referring to our new form of exchange — texting made easy, otherwise known as genetically modified speak, although the right amount certainly applies to all types of talk. I’m thinking of the sincere dialogues we have when sound is made from our vocal cords.
Lately, perhaps due to a cognition malfunction, I’ve been mixing large portions of junk food speak into otherwise semi-healthy discussions. Moreover, I’ve been serving up meaty colloquies to fellow humans interested in a lighter buffet of breeze shooting.
When speaking, like eating, we’d like our messages to be easily digestible, no matter the portion size. Ideal digestibility occurs when there are healthy ebb and flows to a conversation. A wholesome back and forth is largely dependent on portion size; i.e., somewhere between sermonizing and stubby responses. So there is a payoff to consider the listener’s taste preference and enthusiasm. For important conversations, that may mean selecting a time when the listener is open to chow. Many weighty chats are infinitely more satisfying with several well-planned courses full of balanced flavors, like sweet and sour, bitter and salty.
Broaching more serious topics may call for attractive appetizers to stir the hunger juices, making the main course more appealing. At the same time, getting to the point shouldn’t require an entire meal of hors-d’oeuvres, leaving the main course overkill.
Good conversations, like nourishing meals, contain natural ingredients, the right amount of spice and complimentary flavors. Healthy exchanges lack synthetic components, such as exaggerations (except for entertaining stories where no one’s ego is exploited), untruths, and gossip. Sure, there are times to nibble. Sometimes one-word replies are more adequate than a bouquet of words circling the point. And still, other times when the occasional lite fast (no speak) is more rewarding than grazing to fill in the silence with noise, whatever the portion size.
Now, in our relatively new global melting pot, fusion cooking has become part of our diets. The evolution of fusion speak is not far behind. Regardless of the mix or whether our spiels are to entertain, explain a position, persuade, inform, or just tell a story, the value of our utterances is determined by the listener’s digestion. That may involve a feast or a nosh — in either case, keeping in mind the portion size of postulations that exit our mouth is worth the effort.
Post point and note to self: a dialogue containing discernment, even/especially on the fly, about portion size can make a significant difference in the reception of a message.