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Why Screaming Won’t Get You Heard.

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

You know when you're in a group of people…

…and you start telling a story, and that one jerkoff starts talking over you, hollering at the waitress mid-sentence, or answering the phone, or by turning to say something to somebody else, and then all of the sudden you don't really know if you're suppose to keep telling the story, or pause and wait to tell the story, orrrrrrrrr ???

So in a blind social anxiety panic you don't pause to wait because you know if you wait .278 seconds longer, SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO BARGE RIGHT INTO THE STORYTELLING SPOTLIGHT, and your great story about the time you set your armpits on fire will blow away like an orphan in the night, so you keep telling the story that wasn't really even a great story to begin with, because now it's not about the story at all, but about VALIDATING YOURSELF AS A HUMAN BEING.

Fortunately there's always that one person who leans in with wide eyes like, “Don't worry, I'm listening.” Even though you both know nobody's really listening and you're both embarrassed by that fact, AND the fact that you're still talking, except now you're talking purely out of principle, and thanks to Hollywood's balding set of manners, you're forced to jump up and down begging to be heard like an ADHD third grader with a brand new My Little Pony backpack yelling, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”

Well friends, this is how the internet works.

There's always going to be somebody talking over you, and you're always going to feel like you have to beg to get heard. And when that happens, I want you to keep this in mind:

There's a critical difference between the third grader
in leopard print jumping up and down to get heard,


the woman in white who commands
the whole room merely by existing.  

That difference is poise. Elegance, self-assuredness, presence, and cool conviction. 

And the way you become the woman (or man?) in white?

Has nothing to do with who you are—

—but how you are.

Perception is everything.

And online, in a medium made up largely of words, every single one that you choose is telling a story.

Words are never just words.

Copy is never just “some copy.”

Just consider the difference between:

“Thank you for choosing us to work with you”


“Thank you for asking us to work with you.”

The difference is only one word. But in that one word? Lies a world of difference.

The former represents the third grader jumping up and down to get chosen.

The latter represents the woman in white who isn't worried about getting chosen, but choosing.

And in an online world of noisy tweets/emails/status updates/promotions/ads and yelling, the person who's got enough poise to act like they should be heard—

—is the one who does.

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