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This week my writing time has been cut down considerably. It’s not that I don’t want to write, nor that I don’t know what to write but other things have been getting in the way. I have spent the best part of the week, so far, by preparing for and going to job interviews and catching up with friends.

We spend so much of our time talking: either explaining things to people, selling our skills to potential employers, describing things we need or even just to share information. And we probably spend nearly as much time wondering whether or not we were understood, or what we could/should have said instead.

When it comes to job interviews, we try to speak clearly, chose our words extra carefully and way what we say. When we sit on that hot seat, trying to sell our skills, and us, with every word we say we can’t help but relive every conversation and ineloquent phrasing.

It’s a bit like those first few conversations with the guy you have a crush on. Every word you stutter, each syllable he utters, is dissected, deconstructed and twisted into a shape we can make sense of – be it it good or not.

But time spent with friends – chatting, laughing, teasing, sharing – is relived not based on the words we shared but on the emotions we felt. In our minds we may recall the conversations and even remember certain phrasings, but it is what we felt that makes us smile, feel nostalgic or warms us from within.

Friendly chats are the best way to spend  – not only our time – but also our words. And only with friends do we know that even the unspoken word can be heard when needed.

One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.

Author Clifton Fadman