Chapter XII – Part 10

$ Oh, yes! I find it fascinating! The next is: changing subject. My godmother is always doing this and I thought it was her kind of neurosis.

$ How does she so it?

$ I come to see her. She asks how I am. After I say two sentences she says: taste this soup, I think it needs more salt. As if she hadn’t listened to me at all. Or I’m talking about something and she hands me in some cutlery, a piece of cloth and says: polish it. I’m listening to you. Fat chance!

$ You want to talk, she wants to host you as good as she can and she does her best in the areas that are not so important to you.

$ There’s also a more subtle way of changing subjects, without even touching on a subject that draws people’s attention so much that you can’t possibly omit it.

$ Can you be more specific?

$ I was in hospital waiting for a complicated surgery. My godmother came to see me, she brought beautiful flowers, exquisite chocolate and jabbered about everything. It even took her back to a holiday we spent together with my parents when I was very little and hated going to the hairdresser’s. My unmanageable hair disturbed my swimming so I used my sister’s barrette in order to see better. So my godmother even mentioned that barrette! She didn’t say a word about health, hospital, surgery.

$ She was so afraid of saying one wrong word that she preferred to say none.

$ And I didn’t know how to freak out assertively. Does freaking out block communication?

$ There are different kinds of freaking out. If you judge everybody and talk about their mothers’ professional life, that’s usually the end of communication. If you tactfully tell them about what makes you hit the roof and you stick to the facts, there’s a chance that it will be a turning point, a salvation in this relationship. By the way, joking blocks communication, too.

$ I am not surprised. If somebody is joking at what I said seriously, I shut up. Once, when I was 6-7 years old, I said to my father that my ear was aching. He smiled and said: a bird must have pooped in your ear.

$ So much loneliness in the childhood. Calming down will be probably the last block we are going to discuss today.

$ Calming down makes me aggressive. ‘You will see. Everything’s gonna be all right.’ It inspires me to ask: how the fuck do you know?! Maybe everything’s gonna be all right, maybe not.

$ Unless you are convinced everything is working out for your highest good.

$ With this conviction nothing is able to block communication.

$ Right. So let’s leave 5-minute hints and our giant digression. Today I will describe another approach to self-directed language education. If you like it, it’ll vary your work.

$ What is it about?

$ It’s about filling the gaps. Look, this is an excerpt from a student’s book called “First Insights into Business.” Precisely this text has also been recorded on a CD but a CD is not necessary. First, I make a copy of this text, then I hide or cut out randomly parts of it.

$ It’s very time-consuming.

$ If you think so, there are at least two solutions. Either do it unwittingly, e.g. while watching TV. Or once in your lifetime prepare a cardboard matrix with gaps 3 mm high, 15 mm long scattered on the whole surface. Like this. Listen to the first text.

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