Column: Talking is not as hard as it seems

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

Communication can be exhausting.

Especially if you’ve had a long day or have a lot on your mind, you might find yourself routinely going out of your way to avoid conversation.

Your mind begins to jump to the worst-case scenario when any prospect of human interaction presents itself.

For instance, you see someone you know in the dining hall; you’ve had six classes with her and she always shares her notes and lets you cheat during the quizzes you didn’t study for.

You think, “I should go say hi.” But naturally she would reply with, “Hey! How was your day?” and you’d be obligated to reply, “Fine, how are you?” and then she might begin a story.

Maybe she had a bad day too, and she’ll go on and on telling you about it. But you don’t have the time or the energy to entertain a sad story on this particular day.

So you’ll have to think of an excuse to go back to your room, and she’ll think you’re rude and never let you copy ever again.

To avoid this, you act like you don’t see her, walk to the other side of the room and keep your headphones in so you’ll have an excuse later for why you didn’t hear her calling your name.

As someone who works on top of taking classes, I definitely have let this habit take over my daily interactions in the past because of feeling overwhelmed with stress.

However, it’s worth it to try to fight the urge to walk around campus in a bubble.

This is particularly important in a work environment.

You might be having a bad day, but the people who you walk right past without acknowledgment do not know this; unless you say something, no one knows this but you.

People tend to be self-centered; this isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s the way people innately view the world. They think everything that happens around them must have some correlation to or be a result of something involving them.

So they will most likely interpret your silence as intentionally ignoring them.

Once they get that idea, they will have it in their head from that day forward that you don’t like them and/or are just a jerk.

Simply saying hello to people can do wonders for a work, classroom, roommate or other type of environment.

You can say you can’t talk long because you have work to do or are having an off day, and more than likely people will see you as more down to earth, honest and friendly.

Communicating does not have to be as painful as it may seem, and putting in the effort will benefit your relationships in the long run.

Stephanie Markham is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].