A Note For Daphne

A Note For Daphne

At a business social gathering, Herman is telling Norton about video editing. Norton, interested in learning more about this field, is listening intently.

Enter Daphne, who stands near them for a moment, then picks up a granola bar from the table next to them. She addresses Herman, who is still talking to Norton.

“Is this yours?” she asks. “Do you like this brand?”

Herman stammers for a moment and his face reflects his dilemma: Is she seriously requesting that I stop talking to Norton and answer her granola bar question? Can I ignore her? No. How quickly can I do whatever I have to do, and what do I have to do?

Herman to Daphne: “Uh, yes…..I…they’re okay.” Turning hopefully back to Norton, he tries to continue where he left off.

Norton is startled by the granola bar interlude. His attention wavers.

Daphne seems to give up on the granola bar.

Daphne: “You guys do editing? I’ve been working on an edit for our team conference video ~ Here, I’ll show you.”

Herman and Norton both pause and glance at Daphne as she clicks open her phone and holds it up for them to look at.

Herman and Norton’s conversation is over.

So what’s up with Daphne?

Let’s assume that she is not self-absorbed and attention-seeking, but merely inexperienced and unschooled in the social skill of conversation–joining. She is not alone in this, and her awkward overtures to Herman and Norton are maybe better than cowering next to the vegetable dip.

If so, here’s a note for Daphne: Approach, listen, and decide if the conversation sounds closed or open. If open, consider offering a neutral comment or question on the topic in play, and see if the others expand their discussion to include you. If the conversation sounds closed, move on. There will be others.

And, when you are the one in a conversation, take note: It isn’t easy being Daphne!

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