“It was just an innocent comment, man, I didn’t mean it.” As I was reading through the comments thread, I wondered to myself “Was it me, or was blogging getting a bit more intense?” I read the words but they blurred together on the screen. An ‘innocent’ comment? Is there such a thing? And what do we really mean when we comment? Why do we jump into a conversation? What results do we really want? Let your mind ponder that question while I tell you a story. *** There’s a late-night security guard in my condo named Abadir. He’s fun, and he and I bond over Drake lyrics and success-talk – we love it. If it sounds great, that’s ’cause it is, but Abadir has a bit of a problem. He’s 22 and he’s lived more life than most people imagine. That’s not the problem. He’s been through adventures; he’s got a colorful history. That’s not the problem either. That was the setup. Keep reading and I’ll explain
A Slice Of AbadirHere’s a slice of Abadir’s colorful life, paraphrased from our chats.
ON ‘FRIENDS’: “And then my friends broke my f***ing coffee table! They got sh*t-faced and fell on it! Do your friends come into your house and break your stuff? It’s too much hassle man.” <laughs>
ON FIGHTS: “Y’know J, to be honest, if there was 10 fights that summer — 9 of them would NOT have been me starting them. I just wanna kick-back, chillax, you know, I ain’t got no beef with nobody.”
ON DRAMA: “So we’re in Somalia, and my Dad’s brother held a gun to my Dad’s head and told him he had to drop the money and leave. He had the choice to back up my Dad, or bait him out. He totally baited him out. Yeah, my uncle’s kinda the black sheep, naw’mean?”So, as you can imagine, I’m always riveted by our late-night conversations, Abadir’s a masterful story-teller, and while most people are sleeping, I’m being sucked into a fantastic world of sordid Somalian shenanigans. Every word he delivers aims to entertain and ease pain, and he does it naturally. His conversation skills rock, and they don’t teach ‘em in school. I asked him how he does it and he gestured widely saying:
“I like good conversation, you know? I like to get into with someone, not like… mean, but someone who can go shot for shot with me. Someone who knows how to navigate the conversation man. S’why I like talking to you.”If I was the blushing type, I woulda blushed here, but when you can talk about money, fame, and sex over breakfast, blushing’s not really a common thing Anyway, remember I told you how Abadir has a problem? Well he describes it in the next sentence.
The Problem With Chatting
“Some of the tenants here… well, I try to be friendly, I say hi, and they just grumble or ignore me with their head down. That is NOT shot for shot. That’s not even trying. Others… I tell a great story, and they’re all like ‘thats cool.’ ‘That’s cool?’ I mean, seriously? After one experience like that, I’m off, man. That’s not what I’m about. I value real talk. Whether I’m having a good day or not, I offer decent conversation, or I’m honest about not feeling up to it.”I laughed, because even listening to Abadir talk about ‘talking’ was inspiring to me. And his words got me thinking. A lot. Have you ever had a friend say something that made you take a step back and think about life? Well, Abadir – although he didn’t know it – got me thinking about blog comments. Maybe you’re familiar with blog comments like these:
- “great post”
- “I disagree, you suck”
- longer, rambling versions of the ones above
The Shot-For-Shot SolutionHere’s just a sample of the praise I’ve got for my comments this week.
- “Thanks Jay, always enjoy your comments… so much value.”
- “Awesome thread of comments. Funny thing. I almost forgot the content of your post after reading the commentary. Thanks Jason…”
- “Always love your perspectives and how you extend the conversations here.”
- “I’m guessing I could write a few posts just based on the questions you pose.”
- “You’re definitely an MVC! (Most Valuable Commenter)”
Subscribe to this blog