I had all boy friends at this age, so naturally I had a cap gun and a cowboy hat to join right in. But the phrase “gunning for bear” was one used by the adults around me. It meant that the person was about to start an argument with no intention of listening to any other point of view.
I observe lately that a lot of television interviewers appear similarly to be gunning for bear. They seem very interested in blasting their ideas at the person being interviewed and not interested in the response. I learn very little from these exchanges, though their intensity often hooks me. I am still trying to understand why I get sucked in. It does feel a lot like gawking at a car wreck. Not one of my better instincts.
At the gym today, a woman was discussing her new television which responds to voice commands. Apparently her husband told her it wasn’t working. She observed him yelling “Golf Channel” at the set and getting no response. She told him that first he needed to wait for the prompt on the screen that said “listen.” Then he needed to lower his voice instead of shouting. Apparently even televisions dislike being rushed and shouted at!
I watched a TED talk which stressed 10 tips for conversation. The one I intend to follow is to remain curious about what the other person knows that I don’t know. I will never find that out if I go into the conversation “gunning for bear.”