Short and Sweet
Why, oh why, do some people insist on wasting our time by going on and on when they deliver a message? You know who they are. What can be said in a sentence is often spoken or written in endless paragraphs? Whyyyyyy?
Do they simply like to hear themselves talk? Yes. Do they think we’re stupid and can’t understand a simple statement without countless and endless ways to further illustrate their point? Yes.
Here’s an example. Instead of simply saying, “Sorry, I have to cancel lunch today, since I’m not feeling well,” they insist on further explaining that dinner last night caused excessive gastric distress, because the food was too rich, too spicy, too hot or too cold. All excruciating details are shared in the most graphic descriptions. Again, why? In this case, it’s probably due to the guilt they feel, since they are lying through their teeth. They really don’t want to have lunch with you anyway. OK, bad example.
How about this? You’re watching the news, and the weather person says, “It will rain on Friday.” That’s all you need to know, right? However, they spend the next ten minutes showing you all kinds of pretty, colorful charts, graphs and pictures, showing you when the rain will actually start, how heavy it will be and when it will end. Who cares? All they need to say is that it will rain on Friday. Let’s leave some mystery to life. Those other details will be a complete surprise, something to look forward to. Anyway, what difference does it make? They’re usually wrong. But I digress.
So, less is clearly more here. What everyone should understand is that our time is limited. The more time we waste listening to or reading nonstop drivel, the less time we have to surf the Net, check our email or have our eyes glued to some mindless TV show. We just can’t get that precious time back, you know.
Here are my guiding words: If you can’t say it in one simple sentence, or hold someone captive for more than two minutes at a time, then whatever you had to say is of little value and not worth saying. Oh, and say it, don’t spray it.