Monday, August 6, 2018

Impressing people - the easy way

You know, every time I see people looking at me, impressed with my intelligence or my sense of humor or whatever, I do not even have to pinch myself. I know I must be dreaming.

The thing is, it is so damn difficult impressing people. I mean, when someone has shared a thought, I have cudgeled my brains and come up with brilliant additions to it. When someone cracks a joke, I have come up with additional funny lines. None of that seem to work.

So...(Come on! Yes, I was going to bring a friend into it, why do you have to steal the words from my mouth even here?)

"You know what the problem is with you?"

Yeah! If ONE time a friend of mine will think that the problem is with the other guy and not with me, the Kalki Avatar will be swinging a sword and riding a horse all over an apocalyptic world.

"I'm sure you will tell me."

"Well...if only you knew how to look at yourself in the mirror. Anyway, the problem is that you try too hard."

I did not see THAT coming. I mean, here I was, some sort of an understudy for the modern Rip Van Winkle and I...I...was being accused of trying too HARD?

"Yes, too hard", he said, noticing the look of utter incredulity on my face. "All you needed to do on that day was to appreciate Ramesh's idea. Instead of working at thinking up more variations..."

"Come on! What's the big deal about appreciating a..."

"Well! If your mouth will always outrun your brain..."

While I was dumbstruck, trying to choose one of a dozen insults to hurl at him...

"Think! If you can, that is. If you call him a genius for being able to think that up, he is unlikely to think of you as an idiot, is he? I mean, who can be proud of being called a genius by an idiot?"

Hmmm! This chap...he had a point. I mean, yes, unless I can see the guy praising me as a discerning chap, what would be the value of his praise? So...hmmm! This seemed easy...

"Of course, you will muck it up as usual. Go all wide-eyed and say 'How do you manage to do that?' when someone cracks a yawn, instead of when he cracks a difficult problem. AND then come complaining to me that my advice does not work and people only think you are being sarcastic. To even praise so the other chap wants to bask in your praise...that does take SOME discernment. And unless he wants to bask in the praise, he will not develop any higher opinion of you."

Water off a duck's back. I mean, you can get used to people calling you names if they do it often enough. And is sort of like hearing a Punjabi using swear words. You stop thinking of what they mean and see them only as punctuation marks.

"Does it also work for being seen for having a sense of humor?"

"I knew this was coming. That's even easier. All you had to do that day was laugh at Sohan's joke. Instead, you go trying to cap his lines and steal his thunder..."

Ah! Why did it never cross my mind? I mean, I am the original lazy bum so why in this thing alone did I choose to work more than I needed to? But...

"Hey! That is not how it happens with me. I mean when I crack a joke or..."

"You see, THERE there is a difference. People are not trying to impress YOU, then. They could not care less what you thought of them. They are trying to impress the others around..."

Ye Gods! So that was why...

Fools, all of them, anyway! I mean, come on, I can hardly get an audience for what I am saying and these guys really think someone is going to bother to check THEIR responses to me and be impressed? Fat chance!

Now, time to go and practice laughter which sounds appropriately appreciative...

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