It was only a few years ago that I embraced the truth that I am an introvert. And I’m happy with that.
I do enjoy the company of people, especially those I can connect with on a deep level. Sadly, I’m finding it more and more difficult to do that.
I come away from most social gatherings, even small ones, wondering if I had wasted my time going. Conversations seem to be kept at a surface, we all seem to talk at each other and most of all there are always mobile phones to add noise and photographs to the gathering! I find myself drained after such social events. I’m grateful that I have José to come home to and really have a good conversation with.
What makes great conversations?
When is the last time that you had a great conversation, a conversation that wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture?
But … a great conversation, in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew? That you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost … a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plane? … a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards …
I’ve had some of them recently … they are food and drink for the soul.
– John O’Donohue –
Doesn’t that sound so good? I’ve been musing how we can have more meaningful conversations and here are just a few things I can think of
- A sense of awareness to realize who you are speaking to and what you are saying.
- It’s important to make your words count, but it’s also important to count your words. Succinct speech can be more effective than long winded talk.
- Being genuine and talking because you want to and not because it seems something you have to do.
- Trying to find common interests with the person you are talking to, so that both can participate actively.
- Asking leading questions that gets the other to talk about themselves or the subject.
- Listening with the intention to understand the other – even going beyond what they say, to understand what they feel. Empathy is highly under-rated.
- Checking with the other to see if you’ve understood her correctly.
- No attempts to impress or flatter.
When was the last time you had a great conversation? Would you like to add something to my list?
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