To Talk or Not To Talk – That is My Question

Ok friends o’the blog – here is the question I pose to you (yes, you…and even you Rosemary)…

In your NON writing life are you ‘a talker?  In that, I mean – are you chronically verbose, glib, gregarious, loquacious, effusive, and/or garrulous – and your blog is an extension of your voice?

Word GeniusPhoto Credit: Google Images

Word Genius
Photo Credit: Google Images

Or are you very quiet, reticent  shy, unassuming, restrained, and/or discreet – and your blog is your ‘voice’?

Shy unassuming type - and oh so fabulous. Photo Credit: Google Images

Shy unassuming type – and oh so fabulous.
Photo Credit: Google Images

I’m curious. I hope people weigh in. I have some thoughts about who is what ~ and I want to know if I’m spot on or missed the mark.

I am a TALKER – and my writing style is much like my ‘talking style’.  However, I am not a fan of small talk or ‘chat’ – or maybe I should say, it’s not my forte. So whilst I can talk your ear off, I suck at ‘pressing the flesh’ as it were in social situations because I’m not the type that can just approach a group of people and begin a conversation.

And being a ‘talker’ is NOT an insult. None of this is bad/good – it just is. But, like I said, I’m curious.

I would hazard a guess that TAE and Unfettered BS are both reticent; whereas Le Clown and The Hook are probably prone to be verbal.

Give it up, people ~ I yearn to know…

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
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197 Responses to To Talk or Not To Talk – That is My Question

  1. I am absolutely a talker. Fairly good at small talk, but prefer talking with people I know well. I think my blog voice is just like me – but without the moving hands and arms that normally accompany my stories, ha.

  2. djmatticus says:

    Restrained. I think that is the perfect word for me. Especially in larger group settings, where I can very quickly just ease into the background and take in what everyone else is saying without feeling like I need to be jumping in with my two cents. However, get me on a topic I’m passionate about (and knowledgeable), and get a few drinks in me and I will find my voice. I think who I am on the matticus kingdom (the court jester) is who I become in those situations.

  3. susielindau says:

    Definitely a talker. Usually the pressing of the flesh doesn’t bother me either, but once in a while, I sputter and stammer. I think the more I write, the less I am out and and about and get out of practice! I have time to write what I want to say….

    Nice to meet you!

  4. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Oh and well done including Groucho Marx and Buster Keaton, what an incredible face he has! Both total geniuses of comedy and film in general 🙂


  5. Rohan 7 Things says:

    I am just like you! Verbose indeed, but only subjects I enjoy (which is really quite broad), I do not enjoy gossip, small talk, or shmoozing! I also don’t like being around lot’s of people and talking, I find it uncomfortable and confusing. I like to be with a few people I know well and like, enjoying conversation on interesting topics!

    Great question though, thanks for posing it!

    All the best 🙂


  6. TheLastWord says:

    I know the feeling…. I can keep this up for ever, you realize?

  7. TheLastWord says:

    OK! So I don’t know what I am. Am I talker? Does my blog reflect my talking style? I don’t know.

    I like talking to people – I enjoy giving presentations. In some settings I always have something to say. It seems I know at least a little bit about everything. My posts also tend to be long. I like telling stories to illustrate my point and some of these stories are long.

    I found my blog was limiting my style, or in other words, I was not (and am still not) sure what *is* my style. Hence the “3 contributors” on my blog.

    Interesting anecdote: at our weekly group meetings, ti seems I was the one always ready to jump in with observations, suggestions, etc. One of my colleagues offered me $50 to stay silent during the 1 hour meeting. I did pretty well until about 20 minutes into the conversation, when our boss, who had been giving me strange looks, finally asked me a direct question. Being forced to respond thus, I was back to normal…. No $50 for me!!

    However, I’m also known as a quiet type. I’m unlikely to go up to an unknown or semi-unknown group and join in. I’m also unlikely to be the “life and soul” of the party.

    So – did I confuse you? I’m not sure!!!

  8. Piper George says:

    Interesting question. I am not sure how to answer. I am better one on one – in a group I fade into the background as I know I will say something totally stupid. Unless I actually have a relevant point or story to make, then I may repeat it a few times to be sure I am heard.

  9. The Unbearable Banishment says:

    Of course you’re a TALKER. You’re from QUEENS. That explains quite a lot, actually.

    I grew up in Ohio, a land of quiet, thoughtful, contemplative, polite individuals. 20 years in New York smacked that look off my face. Now, people are lucky if they get a word in at all. I consider it part of my charm but I’ve heard that it annoys some folks. Can you imagine?

  10. Le Clown says:

    I talk. All the time. Even to myself.
    And I listen. Selectively.
    Le Clown

  11. saradraws says:

    You got the clown. I’m an introvert, and prefer only to speak when necessary. Small talk sucks. But I can gab about trivial things for some time with a trusted friend.
    I have been known to get chattier when a bout of hypomania kicks in.

  12. I work at a resort, so I can talk to anyone, anywhere. I love to engage people in conversation, but never reveal much about myself or my thoughts in the process. My blog voice is the voice in my head that people rarely get to hear. I love being able to access that voice in my writing while still being sarcastic and gregarious in real life.

  13. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I am not a talker at all- but at the same time I am not shy. I am a leader in my world, so people consult me or ask for my advice often but rarely include me in casual conversation which tends to be a bit isolating. If they only knew how mouthy I am on my blog.

  14. ellebonze says:

    “are you chronically verbose, glib, gregarious, loquacious, effusive, and/or garrulous”

    uhhh….. yep.

  15. I am a smart-ass listener. I listen to others, wait for an opening and then deliver my oh-so clever, witty, impertinent remark.

    …and then shrink in humiliation as the others back away from me as though I had just farted.

  16. The Hook says:

    Guilty as charged, but ironically, I have nothing more to say on the subject…
    The shoutout has honored me deeply, though.

  17. calahan says:

    I can be the entertaining one given the right crowd (preferably a smaller than a larger), but am otherwise the quiet person watching the world and taking notes.

  18. "HE WHO" says:

    I am definitely not a good “oral” story teller, but whether writing or talking, I love to chat and tend to ramble. Too much information at the border or on a sales call is a no no but I find it hard to control — I love to chat! I’m a people person, but that only goes so far. Still, I’d rather talk on the phone than text or email. BUT, as you might remember, I DO love back and forth below the blog. : ), .

  19. MissFourEyes says:

    I’m kind of like you. A talker, but I’m horrible at small talk and meeting new people. First impressions should never be the last with me, they’re the worst. I’m awkward and I can be shy in social situations, and I absolutely hate public speaking of any kind. But once I get to know someone it’s hard to get me to shut up

  20. mairedubhtx says:

    I confess. I’m a non-talker. I don’t do small talk. I don’t even do regular talk. I will do public speaking. That’s different and I’m prepared to do that, but to talk in groups of people–no way. I’m way too shy and reserved. I don’t put myself forward. i’d rather listen. I don’t butt in. My blog is my voice, my release.

  21. Thom Topham says:

    I’m can relate! My writing is very conversational and my conversation is full of aphorisms, allegories, meaningful maxims, proverbial proverbs, epigrams and axioms – especially when I’ve drunk a bottle of red wine! I never do small talk; I’d rather sit in a corner and watch people being dreary, or, probably more likely, just look at the sky, or people walking by.

  22. Yeahthtsme says:

    It depends on the person I’m with and if the talk interests me.Some people are easy to talk to and some not so. Generally I am in the middle ground,a good listener.I have friends who can talk and talk till the morning still have things to say(a lot) which just baffles me.I talk but I can’t beat the talk marathon. no way! I guess the blog is a bit of both.Sometimes to fill the silence.

  23. Jennifer says:

    I’m no good at small talk, but will talk your ear off if give the chance on a topic I’m interested in. In groups, I’m the one in the corner saying nothing, but taking it all in. My blog is a bit of both, lots of words, and then quietness which would be my pictures…

  24. This is a good question, a fun one! I’m both quiet and talkative. I tend to be more quiet in big groups, because I don’t have a really loud voice. I prefer the one-on-on deep conversations. Overall, though, I like social situations and can be even be quite the butterfly. Did you have me right?

  25. El Guapo says:

    Great question. I’m generally quiet.
    But I can be loud enough from time to time…

  26. Rufina says:

    I am more of a listener than a talker, and am more descriptive with my blog than I actually am when talking in person. I do love to tell funny stories among very close friends. I don’t really like large group settings, and much prefer small intimate settings. But on the surface, I can “do” both, although I would prefer to stay quiet. There is a new book about introverts and extroverts called “The Quiet” by Susan Cain, she also did a Ted Talk on the subject. She says that 1/3 of the population are introverts; I wonder how many of them (us) blog?

  27. jrosenberry1 says:

    I’m not a talker at all … but on the few occasions when I open up, look out.
    It’s weird, though … even 20 years ago in high school I was totally unable to disguise my voice. If I wrote it, everyone else could tell. Very bad when you’re supposed to be doing anonymous critiques!
    Internally, though, I am always talking.
    The blog is a “slow voice” – saying what I want to say but saying it in a concise, (hopefully) elegant, thought-out style. With the added benefit of being able delete and/or erase if it’s not right. 🙂

    • Well described.
      I’m pretty sure my style would ‘out me’ in a minute –

      My husband is like that – he’s not a talker but sometimes he just lets loose…and it’s surprising! You quiet ones must hold it in and just have bursts o’speak at key moments 🙂

  28. A.J. Goode says:

    I’m a talker, a storyteller, and I think my blog reflects that. I used to be a hairdresser, which was a great career for someone like me — I got to talk all the time to a whole different group of people every day!

  29. rossmurray1 says:

    Well, since you asked…

    I think my formative adult years as a journalist made me a better listener than a talker. I’m not uncomfortable talking but I’m just not usually impressed enough with my own thoughts to express them out loud. I’d rather mull and let those ideas stew for later. I’m more prone to (wait for the shock) throw out a comment or a wisecrack. I’m a kibitzer. Whadya know?

    Because people read my pieces in the newspaper or hear me on the radio — and sometimes I’ve given dinner talks, that kind of thing — they expect me to be erudite and clever in regular conversation. What they don’t understand is that those are performances. Writing is a performance. It’s not necessarily “me,” which is why I’m at ease shifting styles and tone from piece to piece.

    I’m in awe of people who can talk and talk and talk. How do they do it with such confidence, not to mention stamina? I get tired of listening to myself in a hurry. I have the same awe for all you bloggers who make it look so easy and seem so comfortable in your voice.

    Since you asked…

  30. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Great question, Denise. I guess I’m kind of a non-talker, more of a listener. But it depends on the situation. I’m finding on my blog that I enjoy short posts of poetry and photography. At parties, I’m the person who asks the questions and listens. I’ve found that this is the place in social settings where I’m most comfortable. In my bodywork practice, I may be a talker, but again, it depends on the person and the situation. I love information, I love to share my life, but I may just be silent and listen. Maybe it’s more about learning? That’s my primary MO.

    • I think that it’s not surprising that you described yourself this way – especially when doing bodywork, there’s a lot of listening from your end – especially listening to the client’s body I would guess.

      Someone pointed out the connection btwn ‘quiet blog’ and pictures and it’s intriguing. I’m going to be more mindful of that when I go to other’s blogs. I have to say, I do not tend to use too many pictures.

  31. I’m not a blogger, but I write so here’s my thoughts whether you want them or not! I could write down my thoughts and feelings for pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages without taking a breath. Talk? Hardly! I’d be a shoe-in for one of those silence retreats and it’d be a dream getaway! I love to observe people and I’m a great listener. I just don’t have much to say in person! People who only know me online (Facebook… ahem, Denise) may guess that I am talker based on how much I “gab” online. But in person I’m actually quite quiet. Not shy by any means. Just not a talker.

  32. twindaddy says:

    I already answered!

  33. Ohhh mah gah I’m a talker. Could you tell? And the words come out in my writing mostly the way I speak them. Unless I’m pissed. If I’m mad the writing is much funnier and well thought out than my smartass verbal rants. Did ya have me pegged?

  34. i give great verbal. : ) My blog is my voice completely. I am a talker…and I HATE chit chat too…but I am a hairstylist, so I gotta chit chat sometimes…but I always turn it REAL…but I’m not loud and obnoxious…I too love making people laugh…willing to embarass myself in order to do so…self deprecating humor you might say..sounds like this group might rip it up at a bar real gud like!!! I read your blog like you are talking to me…so kudos girl!!

    • Spanks! My hairdresser knows that I’m not keen on small talk and she allows me to just sit and watch – sometimes she’ll talk – sometimes not. She’s cool about it – I appreciate it. I’m pretty open in telling people that I’m not apt to just BS. but I do like to be funny and have embarrassed myself on many occasions! We’ all be a riot at any place.

  35. I’m a talker. And in real life I sound pretty much exactly the way I write in my posts–according to people who know me in real life, anyway. They all say, “I can totally hear your voice saying these things!!” I don’t like small talk, pressing the flesh, or talking for the sake of talking, but I’ve learned the art of the schmooze over the years so I’m good at it even though I don’t like it.

  36. Carrie Rubin says:

    I am not a talker in groups, but over the years, I have trained myself to join in the conversation. But I don’t like small talk, and if this is what the discussion centers on, then I struggle to put forth effort. However, if we dig deeper into a topic that interests me, then I can easily get caught up in the conversation.

    I’ll go long stretches being quiet at home, too, but at dinner, I can talk my husband’s ear off if it’s something interesting–usually something I read in the news or online.

    • Do you find it hard to talk about your being a doctor without having people want to describe their illnesses? And, as a doc working with kids, did you find that you had to really keep from getting emotionally involved with parents and children so you could stay objective? I would imagine that would also have some bearing on how you might talk/not talk in social situations in general.

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        The medical questions go with the territory, but I rarely socialize, so it’s mostly from family members. 🙂

        All doctors need to stay objective, but despite my introversion, my relationship with parents was one of my favorite aspects of pediatrics. I liked working as a team with their child. People often assume all doctors want to be paternalistic, but that’s not the case. In fact, I was a bit frustrated when a parent would say to me, “Well, you’re the doctor, whatever you think is fine.” There should always be open dialogue in medicine–parents know their child best–and in a professional setting, I’m very comfortable talking.

  37. I betcha you will never ever guess meeeee!

      • Ha! I am a lot like Kylie. Shy at first – then I will just talk and talk and talk and talk . . .and talk. My husband doesn’t talk much. When I introduced him to my parents, my mom was like “Perfect. He’s quiet and Alice blabs her head off.”

    • Unless you were a tech services librarian – than NON talker.. but I feel you’re a youth librarian…

      • I pretended to be a youth librarian while getting my MLS cause then I got to take all the cool Kiddie Lit courses! I work in an academic library in the special collections (special as in archives, not the short bus).

        • I love the special collections room at Duke University – GORGEOUS…

          I loved working as a ref librarian in an academic library and I loved being a systems librarian the most b/c i got to glom on to IT people. My favorite people are IT people – the more socially awkward, the better!

        • Oh, we’re pretty socially awkward, alright. The three of us in the department all have the same introverted personality. I share an office with a guy who has a dry wit to DIE FOR.

        • I know some really introverted special collections librarians. I worked in a university that has a ‘flat’ model – so everyone does everything – no tech services, not collection develop librarians – no specific ref librarian (except special collections they were on their own) … and it was horrible… all these cataloging librarians and acquisition librarians that WANTED to be in the basement away from patrons, had to do a stint in reference – it was torture for EVERYONE. They finally allowed the librarians that are not socially inclined to skip working reference. I love reference b/c you’re getting to watch everyone and interact – but you have a desk btwn you and the possible crazy that might happen at any moment.

        • Oh, yeah. I used to work reference at the public library – the one I worked was so small that you were reference, circulation, whatever else they wanted you to do at once. Loved it. You’d get these nice older people you could chat with. Do not like it so much at the university library. Then you get students who want stuff all the time and I just want to say, “What??”

        • “I’ve tried nothing and I’m all out of ideas” – the mantra of university students.

          One asked me if the library had ‘books – ya know, the kind you read’ … hee hee…

        • One of my coworker pals said “What – what are them things – the sandwiches with words in them . . .” They also expect everything to be digitized. They look shocked if you tell them they need a book. One guy said he had to do a report on a world war. I asked which one. He shrugged and said “either.” This was while filling in when we were short a ref person.

        • meh – one world war is just like the others

  38. The Waiting says:

    This is such a good question! I would have pegged you for a talker. That’s a good thing! I am not one who you’d call a big talker, although in the right company I am extremely verbiose. My real life friends say that my blog sounds like the way I talk but I don’t really know what that means. I actually like the way I sound a lot more on my blog than I do the real life me. As far as small talk, I am good at it and I think it has a lot to do with my upbringing in the south. People can and will talk in circles for hours in the south and it can be infuriating but kind of funny too if you have no place to be 😉

    • I think what people mean about talking like you write, is that your writing has a very conversational feel to it – you probably use similar grammatical emphasis in your writing that parallels your speaking patterns.

    • My boss thought I’d make a good ‘flesh presser’ b/c I’m very verbal, so he sent me to a conference, I was so shy, I got a book and sat on the floor in a corner… if someone invites me to their circle, I’m fine – but I can’t just approach and go… I work with an amazing woman that is great at just that very thing.

  39. Bill Hayes says:

    Listen I can talk for England! Especially after a couple of glasses of El Parafino. Sometimes, as I am talking incessantly, I can hear myself, and I can’t stop it. I see the look on their faces, slight sideward glances looking for the door. As I keep talking, my inside voice tells me that at the end of the sentence – or at least the next sentence I should stop. I often do not stop. Fortunately for my readers, my blog is more measured and quiet.

  40. TAE says:

    Ha. I’m not reticent. You can ask me anything and I’ll probably answer. I can talk at length, but that doesn’t mean that I have a desire to do so, unless you get me started on the “right” (or wrong…) topic. I can handle silence, though.

  41. I hate idle chit chat……am definitely on the quiet side.

  42. stephrogers says:

    It depends on how many people are there. I’m quite deep in my conversational material mostly. I suck at chit chat. I am also incredibly shy in large groups and I just shut down into silence, but in situations with small groups of two or three people I can be the one driving the conversation. I think I may have mild social phobias (what’s a fear of crowds called?). I don’t know where my blog sits in all that. I think it’s a bit of both, but is also quite censored because I know who reads it.

  43. Kylie says:

    It depends! I’m not good at small talk, but I tend to spill my deepest thoughts to whomever will listen. If I hit it off with someone, I’ll talk their ear off. If not, then I clam up. There isn’t much in-between. I love giving speeches or teaching classes–I get a lot of energy from crowds and feel like I’ve done a good job if I get them to laugh and ask questions.

    Part of the reason I started blogging was because I left my job, which was essentially my social life, after my second child was born and I was lonely. I started to get lost in my own thoughts from the isolation. I was also bored. So I started writing. I never imagined it would lead to online relationships, or that I might actually want to meet some of the other bloggers. Frankly, the idea of meeting a bunch of other bloggers at once intimidates me, but if I have someone to glom onto, I’ll be fine 😉

  44. JackieP says:

    oh now I’m curious about Le Clown and the Hookster! I agree with you though, I bet they are both talkers. Me, I’m not. I hate chit chat and don’t know how to do it. I enjoy my own company way too much.

  45. Brother Jon says:

    I’m definitely not a talker. I do talk…when the situation calls for it, but I’ll stay quiet if I’m afforded the opportunity to do so. My blog gives me the opportunity to show a different side of myself that is hard for people to see up close.

    And Buster Keaton is a beautiful person.

  46. Jae says:

    I’m both, depending on the situation. If there’s someone there who’s kind of an overpowering personality, I probably get a little more quiet. But if we’re all give and take people in the room then I like to see who I have things in common with. Mostly I just like to make people laugh, so I’ll be a talker if it’s not too stiffly competitive. Great question!

  47. unfetteredbs says:

    haa you nailed me. My blog is my voice and I hate idle chit chat too.

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