This morning I learnt all about the annoying skill of self-propaganda. Henceforth, I’m going to religiously follow all the steps when I am in any company that annoys, irritates, or bores.
Unfortunately because I was just learning, I couldn’t use this on the person who taught me this today. I was sorely tempted to dunk her head in a gas oven. She was that annoying, irritating, and oh dear God, such a terrible bore.
But now I know and here’s how you can do it too.
1. Be a good listener
But you don’t have to listen to the other person all the time so it’s not a hardship. You just need to listen very intently for the first 5 seconds another person opens his/her mouth. Next,
2. Learn to interrupt
The lead-in statement needs to begin with ‘This is nothing…
No matter what the other person is saying always make it seem like you know bigger, better, brighter.
“I felt like such an idiot yesterday at work…”
“This is nothing, why just day before, I was an imbecile. You know what happened…”
3. Hold them under your spell and do not let them go
When you start describing ‘the what happened’ you will notice dilated pupils, stifled yawns, and shifty body language. Do not let that deter you. Go on and say all that you have to say and follow them around if you need to. But complete your tale.
4. Remember the tale is in the telling
The tale needs to be as self-focussed as you can make it; sprinkle it with an inordinate amount of exaggeration. It’s not, “My children love me.” It’s “My children who have all the wealth in the world because they are, you know, my children, love me.” Do not worry about veracity. It doesn’t matter that your children worked very hard and earned all their wealth on their own!
5. Always ensure the conversation is about you and cannot be about anything else
It’s obviously easier when there are only two people (follow 1-4) but here’s what you do when there are more than two people:
“My computer crashed yesterday and I can’t even repair it. The mother-board died…”
“Are you talking about me?”
“Ummm… no, I was talking about my computer.”
“Oh computer, that’s nothing… you know day before ABC said I’m as smart as a computer. You know what happened…”
And so repeat Steps 1 to 5.
Watch out for the dyed-in-the-wool Kannadigas. They learn this in the womb.
If you don’t believe me, attend a Kannadiga get-together (especially those in the Southern areas of Bangalore).
A: “My son is in the USA.”
B: “That is nothing, my son was in Kenya; not Peenya, Kenya.”
A: “That is nothing, my son got laid off during the recession but his boss immediately gave him his job back. He was without a job for just two hours. My son is just as clever as I am.”
B: “That is nothing, my son got laid off, then his boss decided it was a bad decision and you know what his boss did? He resigned and gave his own job to my son. My son is just like me, you know.”
And so on.
If you are unlucky enough to get introduced to A and B you will understand that they are an old Kannadiga couple honing their skill of self-propaganda and talking about their one and only son!
* Penya is an industrial area in South Bangalore