I have a great friend who can talk the hind leg of a donkey. I have known him forever and he’s lovely. He rattles on all day about his business, skiing and what his wife and daughter are up to. In fact he talks about them more than anything else. Yet he claims they are not very important and he could easily live a single life again.

Well I disagree. You see we all give away what we are actually paying attention to by what comes out of our mouths. You know how when you’ve just met a new friend and suddenly their name is in every second sentence that you speak. Or you discover a new interesting fact and it seems to be relevant to almost everything that is going on around you.

Well, what we are paying attention to governs how we direct our lives. That’s why its better to listen to what a person talks about than to what they tell you is important. Its all subconscious rather than in our conscious awareness. So what they tell you may be what they THINK is important whereas what they talk when they are NOT thinking about what is important is more likely to be what is really important to them.

What are you talking about today? What do you think is important to you? Now replay your last few conversations and really answer the question.


  1. John! says:

    I know exactly what you mean, and I’m a terrible one for it. I did a psychological experiment for a mate who’s doing her phd recently and I had to try and physically stop my self from, well, lying. It’s funny, when you listen to a good friend talking on a personal matter you fill in parts of their conversation they don’t want to say aloud by default, and hope they do the same for you. A good system??
    I think that in fact it isn’t very subconscious at all. The very idea of a subconscious has allowed us to say less than half of what we really mean and rely on others to think about it. When we find out about supposed psychological mechanisms we integrate them into our “full consciousness”. Have a good muse, and thank you for the unexpected beer-swap.
    Write gud poemz,

  2. Sue says:

    Subconscious just takes a lot of flak and gets blamed for all sorts of things, I think.
    We all have to fill in the gaps about what is not said. And even with good friends there is still that great risk that its not right. However maybe its that bit that makes all communication more interesting cos we are filling in not just from what we heard but also from all the other channels we are receiving on.
    Keep musing in Manchester!!

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