Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stop Talking and Listen!

I'm on a seemingly endless hunt for a hairstylist. Since I've moved, I've yet to find that connection. Oh, sure, they can cut hair in that way most stylists seem to do these days.



Talent with a pair of scissors is important. But there's something more I'm looking for. I want that connection that you get with a stylist. You know, the one that makes going to the salon something like this:



I've now been to three separate stylists and guess the one thing they have in common. They all asked not a single question about me.



"What did you talk about?" my mom asked. That's a good question. Thinking back, it was mostly small talk about the local community, the other customers who have been in, and their own lives. I realized, though, that I didn't ask them questions about their family. Mostly because...




It just seems alarming to me that not a single stylist so far has actually wanted to get to know me. It seems most of them are disinterested altogether. I want that bond, but when they couldn't even tell you my name five seconds after I walked out of there, it feels a bit like I was just a number.



It's not just the hair salon, either. It seems everywhere you go, people just want to talk about themselves. And I have a very, very low tolerance for listening to it.



How do you get out of boring conversations? Does it matter to you if your service providers make conversation or is "comfortable silence" fine?

63 comments:

  1. I start backing away...
    My wife taught me years ago to ask questions. But most people don't ask questions in return. Not just hairstylists - everyone is like that.

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    1. LOL, you and me both! I've walked away SO many times and people just follow and keep talking. That's why I'm glad I don't work in an office before. There are SO many times I ended up trapped in my cubicle.

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  2. I like a mix of both from my hairstylist. Some days when I have an early appointment or a lot going on in my life, I don't want to talk about it. Other days when I'm in a good mood and want to spread my happiness, I'll talk my hairdresser's ear off. :)

    I'm definitely one of those people that struggles to talk to others though. I can never think of a good question to ask in response and then I feel like a failure at socialization.

    Maybe keep that in mind? … Maybe the hairdressers you've tried are having a bad day or just bad at socializing? Maybe if you take the first step by asking how their day/life/world is, they will become more inquisitive about you?

    *shrugs* Just a thought.

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    1. Oh, I'm an introvert, for sure. I think perhaps that's why a hairdresser with a personality is a MUST. But that's the problem that maybe I didn't convey enough in the post? I am letting them talk about their day, their customers, the local community, whatever. In fact, 90% of the conversation is dominated by them discussing the kind of day they're having. I guess I'm looking for a stylist who takes an interest in what kind of day I'm having after I've let them unload about their day for 30 minutes or so?

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  3. That is so weird. I've never been to a stylist that doesn't talk. It's one of the reasons I hate to go to the hairdresser. LOL. Once I tell her what I need, I much prefer quiet.

    You need to find you a Texas hair stylist. They love to talk!

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    1. I had one that didn't talk once. I didn't go back to her. The rest talk and talk and talk. I think I just want one with actual communication skills? Many people don't realize that good communication isn't talking but having an even exchange of talking and listening. But I think I've realized the "connection" will come when the stylist takes an interest in me as well as talking about herself. That may never happen, since nobody's really interested in learning about anyone else anymore.

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  4. They are free to ramble on about anything they like. Sometimes I get a good blog post out of it lol.

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    1. That is true. If they want to gossip about other clients, that might be enough. I could get some good story ideas out of that, for sure!

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  5. A few people in my life talk "at" me and not "to" me. I listen, ask questions, etc but I seldom receive that in return. So it's always a surprise when an acquaintance or a stranger asks me questions, shows interest in my writing, etc. Oh, so, that's what a conversation looks like again! :)

    This doesn't help you re the hairstylist but I love mine! She always asks about me, even remembers one or two things I mentioned the previous visit. I always try to do the same. She's a sweetie!

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    1. EXACTLY!!! I believe that was one of the biggest things in "How to Win Friends and Influence People." If you ask people about THEM, they are naturally drawn to you. People really want others to notice they exist. DUH! I'm almost scared to ask people about them, though, because it always inevitably leads to them speaking without pause for 30 minutes about themselves and never letting me get a word in. (Which is what happens with the hairdressers!)

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  6. I have had the same hairstylist since 1981. She also does my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandson. We do not talk a lot. We do share what is happening in our life, but no way do we talk about some of the intimate stuff I hear in the salon. OMG. I could write a book - x-rated even. Or, some of the boring drivel about how long the drive is home and what route they take. Ugh. That was last week. Sometimes I just want to yell 'Shut the f--- up'.

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    1. The last one I went to spent most of the time talking about restaurants. And her kid. When I find a good stylist, I stick with her for years. I had one in my 20s who moved to California and one in my late 30s/early 40s that's now 35 minutes away...too far to drive to get a haircut. I've tried four since moving here and still haven't found one I'd go back to.

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    2. 35 minutes is too far away? Not for me. I've been going to my hairdresser since the 90s. She moves around, we follow. Right now she's 22 miles away. I still go to her. She's more like a friend than a hairdresser and I don't have to tell her what I like. She already knows.

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  7. It's hard to find that one-on-one connection with anyone in the business world these days. It's a bit easier if you live in a small town but even that is changing.

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    1. That is definitely true! I think people spend more time obsessing over what Kim Kardashian is doing than getting to know the person standing right in front of them.

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  8. I came out of my next-to-last hairdresser with a cut straight out of the '70s. Think Florence Henderson of the Brady Bunch years. (No the hairdresser wasn't a senior citizen, she was in her late 20s.) I prefer for my hairdresser to pay attention to what he/she is doing instead of talking. If you find a good one locally, let me know. My current hairdresser is great (doesn't talk too much, is classy, and knows me personally), but she lives in Florida and only comes up every 2-3 months. I haven't seen her in a while and I'm beginning to look like the dog from The Shaggy Dog movie. I may have to move to Florida!

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    1. You are welcome here in Florida! :)

      My hairdresser gets my cut and color down perfect each time. The only time I let her experiment (and cut her some slack) is in the styling. Sometimes it's whack, but I can just go home and rinse it and restyle. :D

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    2. The last one I went to took 2.5 hours to shampoo and cut my hair. You can tell from my picture, it's not a complicated haircut. She didn't know what she was doing. She kept cutting and evening and cutting and evening... She was talking, but I don't think that was the distraction--I think she really had no idea what she was doing. Onto the next!

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  9. I always pick out 3-4 of the trash magazines of the week: OK, Life & Style, In Touch, and Star. Once I sit down and start perusing the first one, my hairdresser and I start gabbing like mad about the latest gossip! LOL

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    1. I don't even know what the latest celebrity gossip is!

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  10. I seem to have a face that welcomes all kinds of stories. I learn amazing stuff about folks that I would never share. I think of it as gathering fodder for a novel someday. I admit to paying for cheap haircuts - the salon is just not my thing. Hope you find a good stylist soon

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    1. I've tried the Great Clips kind of thing...I didn't mind it, but I'm tired of going to a new stylist every time. I'm one of those people who just wants the comfort of going to the same people over and over!

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  11. The less you'll depend on hairstylists, regardless of whether they talk or not, in the long run, it will be better for your hair.
    Believe me!

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    1. Are you recommending never getting a haircut? I don't really want to have Crystal Gayle hair!

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  12. I must confess I haven't been to get my hair cut in so long. I think it's about time!

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    1. Yeah, I put it off a LONG time when I don't have a stylist I like!

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  13. I know what you mean about connection. My hair stylist of 13sh years did my hair before my book launch and then came to the party to help celebrate. Good luck finding a special one!

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    1. Yep--that's the type of connection I'm looking for. Not someone who necessarily becomes my best friend, but someone who cares about her clients. I know that can take time, but it's something you can't really describe. You just feel when you've met someone who thinks of her customers as more than just "my 1:00 appointment."

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  14. I've had the same gal for 25 years. We are very good friends. I can relate. Some people are just so into themselves.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I probably would have the same one I had in my 20s if she hadn't moved away when I was 30.

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  15. I'm an introvert so in general I don't mind being left to my own devices - but I like a mix from my hairdresser - e.g. I don't want to talk for the whole three hours I'm in there, but I do like it when they ask some questions. My current hairdresser is great AND I love the way she does my hair - win win! You should move to the north of England - honestly, people are so friendly up here - despite being anti-social I constantly find myself in conversations with strangers at the checkout, in supermarkets, in a car park, at the bank...phew! But I do love it :)

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    1. I live in Nashville...actually, a town outside of Nashville, so they're all too willing to talk to you. And talk and talk and talk and talk. I just don't see any listening whatsoever. They could be talking to a wall, the way they don't let me get a word in!

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  16. Some people consider it to be impolite to be asked personal questions of someone they just met. I think it takes some time to build up a relationship with a customer. I'm more concerned with a decent hair cut--whether they talk or not--LOL!

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    1. Perhaps...I'm not feeling that connection, though. I don't think, "So, what do you do for a living?" or even, "So, are you having a nice day?" to be intrusive, at all, in case anyone's wondering if that's rude! But then, I was told recently that a large number of women are now offended if you ask, "Have you lost weight?" I had no idea!

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  17. Needing hearing aids does have its advantages. Not a person to make small talk with my hairdresser, I want the cutting of my hair to be a, well, meditative experience, they know I can't hear without them in.

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    1. That sounds like a good policy. I always feel silence is awkward. I feel like I need to fill it with something. So I ask questions and that seems to get them going! But, yeah, if I don't ask questions, I guess they'd just cut in silence? Or maybe I should stay silent and see how long it takes them to start making conversation!

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  18. My ex-daughter-in-law cuts my hair and we usually talk about her daughters, my granddaughters. No problem there. :)

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  19. I have a hard time tolerating small talk and people who aren't interested in anything but themselves. Sadly, it seems to be more and more prevalent. I think social media plays a part. We don't know how to be with "real" people.

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    1. YES!!! You get me! Yeah, it's like every conversation with these millennial hairdressers is SO surface. They can't talk about anything but where they ate last night and what the Kardashians are up to today. Someone actually wrote about this recently and I think you may be onto something. I didn't make the connection until now...but her article was about how she met a millennial who said, "I'll just follow you on Facebook and keep up with you there." She didn't even ASK QUESTIONS or get to know her...she preferred to get to know her on social media. I think my original instinct was right and I need to find a hairdresser who has been on this Earth long enough to actually know who Ronald Reagan was.

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  20. I'm good with comfortable silence. I get what you mean about a connection, though. You want to find someone you click with. You will.

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    1. I don't ever feel comfortable with silence when it's a one-on-one situation like that. NOW...if the other stylist in the salon and her client are talkative and we can listen to that, I'm all for it!

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  21. Conversation has become a lost art to many people.

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  22. That's funny. I noticed that too. My past few stylists talked nonstop about themselves.

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    1. And the funny thing is, I'll bet you anything they think they have great people skills.

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  23. If you check back on my blog, you may notice that I have a horrible habit of asking questions with strangers in the supermarket, in hospitals or with family. Something in me is drawn to the story each person has to tell, and in most instances takes my mind off of the crazy things in life. I hope you find the right stylist who wants to get to know you. I do have a pet peeve with a person who repeats himself several times during a conversation or who cuts me off. Then I usually end up just getting outta there. (lol) For those of who enjoy talking about themselves, bartenders will always smile and listen. Hugs...

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    1. Ah true!!! I don't really want to talk about myself but I think I'm looking for that "personalized experience" that so many businesses realize is important now. Customers want to feel like more than just a number. They want a business to understand what they want and provide it with friendly service. It's kind of the same psychology that goes behind using a customer's name in interactions to make them feel special. 100% of the stylists I've been to in the past two years have not said my name ONCE. Didn't even know my name until the end when they were angling for a tip. Whatever happened to, "So...how's your day going? How long have you lived in town?"

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  24. You had me at the Steel Magnolias gif.
    I feel your pain. I keep going back to my current hairdresser because her prices are so much less than others, but I cringe with some of the things she talks to me about. I need to make the change. And just like you said, she has NO interest whatsoever in my life.
    (Thanks for stopping by my blog...I appreciate the comment).

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    1. OMG that's even worse. I haven't had one get too detailed with me, but I could see that happening, for sure. For some reason, most of them like to talk about food. Maybe that's common ground? I end up just asking if they know of any good restaurants that are coming to the area soon, since they don't seem to want to talk about anything but eating!

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  25. I've noticed if I get a talkative hair stylist, they tend to cut too much and don't seem to concentrate on what they're doing. I'm good with silence and/or a little conversation is nice.

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    1. Time is the biggest reason I haven't gone back. The last one took 2.5 hours to cut my hair. And it wasn't because she was talking...she couldn't seem to figure out how to cut it evenly. (It was just a TRIM!) Even after she'd dried it, she was still evening it out. It was craziness!!!

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  26. Hmm, I find it strange they wouldn't make an effort to talk to you about you since you control their tip. ;)

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  27. I have many hairdressing horror stories!! I do my own hair now.

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  28. What.... not a single stylist actually wants to get to know you? What's wrong with them?

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  29. I rarely get my hair cut 'cause I have no hair. And no, that is not a contradiction in terms since there are times where I can go a couple of months w/o shaving my head, so a salon is a good place to go to get back on track.

    Re boring conversations: most of my conversations are of the mundane quality since most of them take place at work. Outside of work, I'm very much the introvert, so I avoid dull/boring conversations at all costs.

    When I can't, like at the post office for example, blatant ignoring usually does the trick, although once when a dull person was bothering me, my response was, "I'm sorry, I was in my own little world, so I didn't hear a single word that you had said."

    That did the trick, 'cause seconds later the dull person's wife reeled him back in.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  30. I've had the same stylist for nearly twenty years and for the last several she has worked out of her home. It's a mixed blessing because I go home hoarse. ~grin~ She is a great hairdresser. Best of luck to you!

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  31. I've had this before with a couple of salons and it is off-putting. I like the places where, like you, you feel like a valued customer and they ask you about you, especially if you're new to the area. There is definitely a place out there like that, so don't give up! Also, have a wonderful Christmas! - Tasha

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  32. Oh- I hear you!!! Thank you for leaving me a comment on my blog today. I backlinked to find you! Hope you have a Merry Christmas-sounds like our husbands are a bit alike! xo Diana

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  33. I totally hear you, I usually just opt for the anti social approach and look down, people usually leave you alone after that and you don't have to listen to the stuff you don't want to!

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
    My Instagram | Instagram

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  34. Last year, I started cutting my own hair! LOL!
    But, I agree, things have changed! It's not the same!
    Boring conversations, I just say, I have to go! LOL!

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  35. LOL! I know exactly what you're talking about. My husband and I talk about this a lot. I think people are a little more conversational in small towns. I think bigger cities foster this kind of selfishness.

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