Monday, March 13, 2006

Annoying...

Riding the lift line to the top of your favorite ski run is a lot like waiting in line at the grocery store. Sometimes the wait for the chocolate chip cookies in your bag is a good one, like when you unexpectedly bump into a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. And, other times the wait is a living hell –you’re pulled into a conversation about the Iraq war and someone yells at you for being a liberal-pinko.

The other day, I was hitching a ride up the lift at Purgatory Mountain in Durango, Colorado. This guy hears that I’m into mountain bike racing and that I go big in the back country. He begins to give me his entire resume. He tells me he’s going to do this and that and when that’s over he’s going to jump whatever he can and land it switch (backwards). I remember looking to my fiancĂ© for help. She gave me a look like: hey, you’re the one who said hello and tried to be nice – this is your problem! So what did I do? I looked to him and said, “that’s great” after every boast. I figured he would stop going on and on about his amazing feats. I said, “wow, keep up the awesome work.” Thankfully, we parted ways a few moments before the urge to push him off the lift started to boil to the top of my mind.

My FiancĂ© and I talked about this incident for a few moments. I asked her if humility was something you gained with age or experience. I mean I’m only 29 and I’ve learned humility, because I’ve been through so many things that kicked my ass. Neither of us came up with anything that deep. Instead we shifted our discussion to a “how to” on avoiding the type of conversation we experienced on the lift.

The first step in avoiding the ultra-boaster is to not counter boast with boast. What I mean is, don’t says yours is bigger, badder or faster. Instead, you should just compliment their achievements. The second rule is to let them talk. Don’t try to make a point. Remain calm and bit your lip. If he/she asks you a question, by all means answer it, but always end your question. Don’t turn it into a statement or, God forbid, a another question for the boaster. The third and final rule is to act indifferently. I’m not saying you should push drool out the side of your mouth and stare into the oblivion. I’m suggesting that you look off into space and act like you were in a peaceful moment. Then smile and say to the boaster, “isn’t it beautiful out here?” It is a gentle way of saying, “hey, can we talk about something else BESIDES YOU!!!”

1 comment:

Bintrim said...

I would have pushed him off of the lift...