I occasionally write articles for my brother's site: /theunimportantmatters.com/
Just for funsies, I wanted to share this article I wrote for that site, here. It's meant to be lighthearted and goofy. Enjoy!
Original article available here.
The conversation starts out fine. You speak, they listen. They speak, you listen. You interrupt each other occasionally. But then IT starts happening.
They start mimicking you. Echoing your every word. At first, you may be moderately amused. Then a few moments later, you’re just annoyed. What do you do to make them stop? How can you end the torture that is hearing your words repeated back to you rather than getting a response or the pleasant silence of a listening ear?
First of all, here are a few points of what NOT to do in this terrible situation
1. Do not stop talking.
First instinct would lead you to want to stop talking so that this individual has nothing to repeat. But that would be letting them win in this game. Whatever you do, do not stop talking. It is akin to forfeiting without even putting up a fight.
2. Do not say things to egg them on.
Some examples are, “Stop copying me!” “Why are you repeating everything I say?” or making exasperated noises for them to copy such as, “Agh!” “C’mon!” or “Grow up!”.
3. No violence
Although it will be very tempting, do not physically attack the irritating individual. Do not punch them in their face or kick them in the head. Do not claw their arms or push them over. These actions are frowned upon.
Now that I’ve covered what to NOT do, here are some splendid ideas for how to cope and win this verbal game that has plagued generation after generation.
1. Begin to sing your praises.
Though you may not be used to speaking in third person, now is a perfectly acceptable time to adopt this Sméagol-like trait. If your name is Severus, you should say, “Severus is the most handsome man of all time.” At this point, your opponent will repeat these words. It is best to have a recording device out for this moment so that you can create a vine or a short Instagram post with them complimenting you. Another example would be if your name is Star Lord you can say, “Star Lord is the smartest and most admirable man in the galaxy.”
2. Insult your opponent by name.
Similar to the previous suggestion, this one works well with a video recording. I mean, who wouldn’t love to see someone named Wormtail repeat the words, “Wormtail is a sniveling coward without a brain or heart.” Feel free to get creative with your words. *note; this approach is most likely to lead to defeating your opponent and crushing their desire to echo you. However, sometimes opponents break the rules and substitute your own name in rather that giving a true echo.
3. Speak in a foreign language.
Use this opportunity to either say large words in your native tongue, or practice the phrases you learned in high school Spanish class. If you have no memory of those classes, start quoting lines in Ewok. If you haven’t seen enough of those movies, you deserve to be mimicked.
Lastly of all, don’t echo people. Never begin the echo game. If you’re reading this, you’re old enough to be literate. Stop acting like a child and listen when people are talking. Don’t behave like some petulant boy scout attempting to flirt with your older sister’s friends.
Or you just might find yourself miss-hissing as you try to echo Parseltongue.