The Mayyas walked like the proud lionesses they are.
We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.
The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.
Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.
“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”
Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”
Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.
For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”
The Mayyas went on to fulfill their promise of a truly hypnotic performance. Starting in a single file line, the women created magnificent shapes while moving in flawless synchronicity. At one point the group even became a pair of eyes (a major crowd pleaser).
According to ET Canada, Cherfan blended moves from both Chinese and Lebanese folklore. It made for a wholly original celebration of cultures, not to mention one breathtaking spectacle. The judges—and the audience—were left dumbfounded.
It was no time at all before judge Sofia Vergara leapt up to give the Mayyas their well-deserved golden buzzer. “There are no words to explain to you what we were feeling over here. It was the most beautiful creative dancing I’ve ever seen,” she told the team.
Howie Mandel added, “You said you were going to hypnotize us. When we sat here and we watched the movement and the perfection and the time and effort that went into that, we were hypnotized by what you did.”
You can watch the Mayyas’s spellbinding act below. Prepare to be hypnotized yourself.
"I'm supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I've had goosebumps in the past two days."
On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers sat before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to make the case for funding children's educational programming. His show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, had recently become nationally syndicated, and the program relied on the $20 million in government funding allotted to public broadcasting. That funding was on the chopping block, with President Nixon wanting to cut it in half, so Rogers went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the funding before Congress.
In a video clip of Rogers' testimony, we can see how subcommittee chairman Senator John O. Pastore sat across from Rogers, appearing somewhat disinterested. He had never heard of or seen Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and wasn't familiar with Rogers himself.
"Alright Rogers, you have the floor," he said in an almost condescending tone.
(Side note: Who in their right mind condescends to Mister Rogers? Granted, Senator Pastore didn't know who he was and the world hadn't yet realized his wholesome amazingness yet, so it's somewhat forgivable. Still funny to see it, though.)
For six minutes, we watch Fred Rogers work his calm, compassionate magic on the committee. As he methodically and eloquently made his argument, Pastore became transfixed and ultimately transformed.
Rogers described how he speaks to children on his show and how he felt that showing people working out their emotions was much more dramatic than gunfire.
"I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable—and manageable—we will have done a great service for mental health," he said. "I'm constantly concerned about what our children are seeing, and for 15 years, I have tried—in this country and in Canada—to present what I feel is a meaningful expression of care."
The senator was moved by Rogers' words. "I'm supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I've had goosebumps in the past two days," he said.
By the end, Pastore was totally on board. "I think it's wonderful," he concluded. "I think it's wonderful. Looks like you just earned yourself the $20 million."
Watch how Rogers did it:
It's not just that Rogers explained himself well. According to Jean Greaves, Ph.D., specialist in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and author of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," Rogers used four specific skills to connect with the committee members and influence their decision-making.
Greaves wrote that Rogers utilized self-awareness by knowing—and sharing—his own expertise and experience with children's programming. He stayed focused and kept his emotions in check, even while sharing his feelings, which used the skill of self-management. Utilizing social awareness, Rogers read his audience and understood what they valued. ("Mr. Rogers understood he was addressing a senator who was more than just the decision maker—he was a man who used to be a boy, a man who had a family, and a senator whose sworn duty was to represent the needs of Americans," Greaves wrote.) Finally, he used relationship management to make a personal connection with the senator, telling him he trusted him to read his statement and acknowledging that they shared the same concern for the quality of children's television programming.
Having watched countless hours of Mister Rogers' programming myself and being a lifelong fan of both the show and the man, my hunch is that those emotional intelligence skills were simply a part of who he was. And thanks to the funding for PBS that he helped procure, his "meaningful expressions of care" helped millions of kids gain greater emotional intelligence themselves.
Just a wonderful, decent, delightful man who loved children just exactly the way they are. What a gift he was to us all.
We all know someone who talks too much.
There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.
Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.
There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.
It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.
For others, it’s a symptom of a disorder. Michelle C. Brooten-Brooks, a licensed marriage and family therapist, writes that excessive talking can also be a symptom of, among other things, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety.
“Anxiety can cause someone to speak excessively,” Brooten-Brooks writes at Very Well Health. “While many with social anxiety may avoid social interactions, some may inadvertently talk excessively when in social situations out of nervousness and anxiety.”
So what do we do when we're stuck in a situation where someone just keeps talking? A Reddit user by the name of Spritti33 asked for some advice about how to “politely end a conversation with a person who won't stop talking” and received some very practical and funny responses from members of the online forum.
A lot of folks pointed out that it’s not impolite to walk away from a person who is incessantly talking because they are being rude by disrespecting your time. Others shared how, in some cultures, there are ways of shutting down a conversation while allowing both parties to save face.
Here are 19 of the best responses to Spritti33's question, “How does someone politely end a conversation with a person who won't stop talking?”
"In Flanders we have a word for it, 'bon,' and then you say something 'I have work to do,' 'It's time to go home,' 'It's time to get drinks.' And people realize the other person wants to leave without being mean," — ISuckAtRacingGames
"In Ireland we do like a little clap/slap our thigh/clap the person's shoulder and say 'Right! Shur look, I'll let you go...' as if we're being polite and letting the other person off the hook, but actually, it's like get me the fuck out of here haha!" —funky_mugs
"If they keep talking over polite cues, I have found there really isn’t a polite way to exit the conversation," — Binder_Grinder
"This is so true. People that do this don't care whether you're into the conversation or not, they're talking simply because they want to. I've gotten better at just interjecting (even mid-sentence if I've already tried everything else) with, 'I'm sorry, I have to go. (start walking away at this point) It was nice talking to you.' Don't give any excuses or reasons for leaving, just do it otherwise they'll try to talk about your reasons." — PSSaalamader
"As a teacher, I have learned how to interrupt people who do not leave any pauses when they’re speaking: start nodding and verbally agreeing with them, 'Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh…' You can’t interrupt these people, but you can start agreeing while they speak, then raise your voice and say, 'Yeah, wow, excuse me but I must go,'" — Janicegirlbomb2
"Remember that it is them who is being impolite by talking incessantly about things of no interest to their audience," — Orp4mmws99
"Source: am a therapist. What you do is recap their last story and in the same breath add a goodbye.
I.e. 'Sounds like you guys found a bunch of great deals at the mall, that’s awesome! Thanks for meeting with me, you’ll have to tell me more next time we run into each other. It was great to catch up!'" — pikcles-for-fingers
"Just start coughing these days it'll clear a whole room in seconds," — Sinisterpigeon
"People who are like this expect folks to just walk away from them while they are talking because that’s the only way the conversation ends. It’s not rude to them, it’s normal. So, it’s entirely okay to say, 'all right this has been great, see you later,' and then just walk away smiling," — Underlord_Fox
"If you can practice this, start to train one of your eyeballs to slowly drift off whilst the other eye remains locked on theirs. That should do the trick," — The-Zesty-Man
"At 62, I just walk away. My bullshit filter has disappeared," -- Negative_Increase
"You gotta realize that everyone else they talk to just walks away. They’re used to that. They think a conversation is you just talk at someone til they walk away. It’s not weird to them," — DelsmagicFishies
"I don't know why some people are so afraid of this. It is not rude. You don’t need to lie. 'We can speak more other time. Goodbye,' is fine," — Kooky-Housing3049
"On a more serious note, I typically do an 'oh shit' type of face like I've just remembered I had something important scheduled. I say 'Sorry, what time is it? check the time Ah crap, I hate to cut you off but if I don't head out now I'm going to be late for ____.' Then I scurry away like I'm really in a rush. If you're in a situation where you can't straight up leave, I swap 'gotta head out' for 'I told someone I'd call them at [time] and they're waiting on my call' and then make a fake phone call," — teethfairie
"'Wow, you have a lot of opinions about this subject...' and then never stop angling the conversation back to how weird it is that they're still talking," — Ordsmed
"Had a friend who would put his hand gently on your shoulder and kindly say, 'I love you , but I just don't care, good (night/day),'" -- Think-Passage-5522
"While not exactly polite, my Aunt Sophie had a great way of ending a conversation. When the monologue got too much she would nod her head like she was listening and then at the slightest pause she would go, 'The end.' And walk away.
She mostly did it with kids who didn’t realize they were yabbering on about Thundercats too long. (It was me, I was yabbering on about Thundercats too long.)" — theslackjaw727
"Change your stance, instead of facing them head on turn 90° your body language will end the conversation quickly without being rude," — Zedd2087
"Where possible, I've always found it best to tell these people up front that you have somewhere to be 15, 30, 45, etc minutes from now. If that's not realistic, I've found that if you can usually find a gap to say you need to run if you focus on doing only this for 3-5 minutes," — Pretend_Airline2811