“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?
As I sit here and contemplate where I stand on the scale of brevity versus verbosity, it becomes quite obvious that I tend to be more on the verbose side of things. After all, I did just spend the last couple of hours creating an outline – that is right an outline – that ended up being 5,000 words. The outline was probably far too detailed, but I guess hopefully this way writer’s block will not be an issue.
There are times when I fall more towards brevity. If I do not wish to be talking, which sometimes is during verbal presentations, or if I’m tired or angry I tend to be more clipped with my words.
Whether it a person speaks or writes with brevity or verbosity, it does not make one better than the other. Sometimes brevity works and the same can be said for verbosity. The real talent is finding out which works under the situation. If you can combine the right amount of brevity and verbosity into a story then you will have a true impact. After all, it’s the difference between show and tell in a creative environment.
Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.
As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:
Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.
Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.
Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.
Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.
As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.
You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.
A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:
Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.
And most importantly:
Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.