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04 December 2007

[NLP] Parroting

Ever heard of all this quotes:
  • “No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.” Jewish Proverb
  • “A friend is someone who helps you up when you're down, and if they can't, they lay down beside you and listen.” Annonymous
  • “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story” Max Ehrman
  • “The gift of friendship... a willingness to listen... a pair of helping hands... a whisper from the heart. That someone cares and understands." Annonymous
What do all those quote have in common?
The word listen. At one stage or another, everyone would have complained saying that a particular person doesn't listen to them enough. Complainers often feel annoyed and worthless because they don't seemed important enough to the eyes of the conversation partner.

The situation above would be possible if everyone speaks music to our ears. Unfortunately, different people have different type of interest. Then again, there are times when you would want to stick to a conversation knowing that its boring you to death. (eg: Perhaps you wouldn't want a pretty girl to view you as rude person. Or maybe you thought that you would get to know a charming person if you play along with the dumb uninteresting conversation.)

So then, being the brilliant conversational partner, how can you avoid inflicting annoyance to anyone?
In conversation techniques, there is method known as 'Parroting'. Its a technique used to prolong a conversation and to delve more deeply into the conversation subject if you have nothing to comment on.
It works by repeating a word or two in a form of a question.

DumbBlond: "I just think dolphines are wonderful creatures. They can sing, they can swim, and their hobby is sex!"
SmartGuy: "Dolphine?"
DumbBlond: "Yea......dolphine..you know those cute aquatic blue creatures?"
SmartGuy: "Aquatic?"
DumbBlond: "You know....creatures who swim?"
SmartGuy: "Oh.....like fishes.....so you like swimming?"
DumbBlond: "Nah....I prefer to camwhore with popular people"
SmartGuy: "Camwhore?"
(and so the conversation goes on...)

You get the idea. Its like a parrot repeating a word.

Parroting its definitely better than saying stuff like 'Uh huh..' 'Rite rite'. That is because all those leads to a dead end if no one knows what else to say.
At least by parroting a word or two, the other person will tend to explain, leaving space to expand on a conversation topic or a chance to change the conversation topic.
It makes other people think that you are always keen on learning new stuff. Best of all, Parroting it make people think that you are actually listening to them. (Whether you are listening or not is not important. So as long as you give the impression to others that you are listening to them)

Idea from How to Talk to Anyone - 92 little tricks for big success in relationship by Neil Lowndes

Interesting note: Those who chat with me on msn or those who know me in real life may notice that I tend to use this technique a lot!

So, do you think Parroting is a feasible technique to be used in everyday life?


x said...


742 said...

A: "You know I am sad these few days..."
B: "Sad?"
A: "Yeah... sad... Cuz something had happened to my gf..."
B: "Gf?"
A: "Yeah, I had sex with her and..."
B: "Sex?"
A: "Sex... yeah... YOU DUNNO WHAT IS SEX MEH?!"

This is the result of parroting... =P

(And yeah, you can link to my blog la, nonit ask permission one.)

Jade Z. said...

ahahaha! oh well~ of coz one can use that technique, but if one were to use it to almost everyone; that means he is trying to PLEASE everyone. and thats tiring; cuz u cant make the whole world like u. no?

cbenc12 said...

hey, its a good article! yeah, i must agreed that listening is very important.. but a lot of ppl tend to like to talk more than listen!
Life's Roller Coaster~

宝茹 said...

Well it might get a bit annoying if overdone~~

Like--why you keep repeating everything I say?!

Hehehehe :P

KeV's wAlKAbOuT said...

wow didn't know there is such a technique! Thx for teaching! lol.. but I foresee instances that using these techniques might lead the other party to think u are extremely stupid! Who don't know what a dolphin is!? LOL

3POINT8 said...

WoW! You are one fast learner!

Ahaha...I'll try the 'sex' line someday and let u guys know how it turns out...
Alrite! Let's exchange links!

[jade z.]
Oh...Actually, this technique is intended to be used when you can't seemed to comment anything and yet wanted to continue the conversation

Agreed! Most people talk more than they could listen. But that isn't always a bad thing!

Hehe...I just want to annoy you!

[kev's wallkabout]
well.. try not to overdo it... If done sparingly, it could leave an impression that you are keen on a subject...

Nux V said...

hmnnn....i hav been using this technique too, but i dun tink it is quite efficient if u r to use it with people 'without patience'..
sometimes people dun like to elaborate more...they just want to go on with their own 'flow' ;-)

Cometh said...

Hmmmm, I am the type without patience... heh..

If people uses to much parroting... I would just stop talking... =p

That explains my anti-social behavior then....ho ho ho ho..

Johnny Ong said...

tat's the secret actually. i have been taught that the person who questions in a conversation is in control of the whole situation.

curryegg said...

Haha... Usually, I will not do that since I like hearing others complain.. but if I am busy and he/she still needs a talk, then I will use this method. lol...

Nice new template!

-Princess Shin- said...

Haha.. Parroting? I get the feeling that the person in your blog is not really listening to the conversation. If that is so.. then its no good! Haha..

But I do agree listening is very important! But not to the extend that you're ALWAYS the one listening. It must go both ways!

3POINT8 said...

[nux v]
The trick is to act really keen on a subject and let them be be the expert...Ahahaha

*jots down* does not work on cometh...

[johnny ong]
WoW! You knew about it! Yea...its true. The person who questions is mostly the one in control of the conversation.

You like to listen to people complain?? Wow.....thats something new! I thought everyone dislike complainers...

[princess shin]
Ahaha...the conversation is made up for illustration purpose. Conversationalist tend to use more than just parroting if they find themselves stuck in a conversation.
Oh?? it must go both ways?? Guess i have work on my speaking skill then. (i'm really bad at conversations)

Cen Ni said...

I think if someone talks to me that way, I will walk away from him/her.
Kinda irritating.
But after reading your articles, lol, I think I'll realize that he/she is bored and I'll give him/her the chance to talk about him/herself. :P

Cheers mate!

3POINT8 said...

[cen ni]
Ahaha... This technique is never meant to annoy people. Its a quick solution for those who find themselves nothing to say in a conversation.