Conversation – The Lost Art
Conversation is very important to me in any type of relationship. It’s the building block that any relationship is created from, and it’s the one key thing to keep any relationship continuing, be it business, friendships or romantic. To me, and I don’t want to sound like an old cliché, but when communication breaks down, the rest of the relationship is about ready to blow.
Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.
Things people do in a conversation that they shouldn’t:
- Not listen. I hate when people answer without hearing what was actually said. You can usually tell when this is going on when someone says “ok”, “mmmhmm, yeah” or simply nod and fake smile at you. Not only is this irritating, but it’s also just plain rude. If you didn’t hear what was said, ASK!
- Talk to hear yourself talk – A lot of words come out of one’s mouth, but they have no meaning. If you do not have anything meaningful to say and are making no sense what so ever, don’t say anything at all.
- Say things out of the blue that has no relevance to the conversation you were already having. I am sure this is self-explanatory.
- Take everything personal – This happens too much. It also happens when people read articles that are written by a friend. I think we are all guilty of this in reality.
- Half listen then relay bad info to someone else – Ever wanted to know how most drama starts? This is why, folks.
- Do not think before you speak – Again this is how drama starts. Foot in your mouth disease is not a good thing.
- Agree just to placate- Hate it… Don’t kiss my ass and agree with me if you don’t. Give me your honest opinion. This is why we are having a conversation in the first place.
- Net conversations, use as :/, :), 🙁 , etc as your only answers: I have posted about this before on my facebook wall. This is the ultimate “I don’t give a shit” reply. If you don’t give a shit about what was said, don’t answer. This also can mean that you are not in the same conversation as the rest of the class, not really listening/reading what has been said, or you just don’t get it. In all cases, don’t say anything. This reply can also be taken as very condescending.
Types of conversations I love:
- The getting to know you – I love meeting new people. I am going to be honest; I am not one to spill my whole life story on a first meeting. Conversation tends to be generic, sticking to the common interest topics.
- The good debate – DEBATE ME!!! I LOVE IT!! Just remember to bring your wits with you, and don’t take anything said personally.
- Educational Conversations – Teach me something new. I love learning new things. I firmly believe that once you stop learning anything or feel you know it all, you are already dead. Ask me questions. Not only may I have an answer, but I may also actually teach you something.
- Critic Conversations – Give me your opinion. Be it about a movie you watched, a book you read, or my work.
- Future/Goals – This type of conversation is IMPORTANT to me for business and any personal romantic relationships. I have friends who I touch on future goals with, both theirs and my own.
- The General “we are buddies” conversations – Laughing and goofing off. I live for these.
Conversations I can’t stand:
- One-Sided – If it’s all about you, and you are doing all the talking, it’s really not a conversation is it? It is a monologue. Don’t be upset and butt hurt if I tune you out and start doing something else.
- The know it all – Do I really need to elaborate on this one? I didn’t think so.
- Condescending toned – To me this is an argument, or at least it will turn into one. Sure I can be condescending, usually as a result of being pissed off or put into defense mode.
There are a few times for me that silence is golden:
- When I am playing one of my favorite MMORPGs, such as LOTRO. If I am questing do not expect me to reply quickly unless we are questing together or in some kind of raid/skirmish. If we are doing those things, keep the conversation relevant. I really don’t care what X said about Y on FaceBook while I am plotting a devious plan to take out a boss who is 10 levels higher than I am, especially when I am doing it alone.
- When I am trying to write. Doesn’t matter if I am working on one of my stories or a blog post. Once I am in total mind flow, I don’t hear you anyway.
- When I am pissed off, especially at you. I need time to think and mull things over. I admit I am a hot head. Anger is the one emotion I fully understand and embrace. If you continue to provoke me into a conversation at this time, things end up coming out of my mouth that are very sarcastic and borderline cruel.
- When I am trying to watch ….. I think this one speaks for itself.
- When I am reading…… Again, self-explanatory.
In closing, it’s not just what you say, it’s how and when you say it. I would like to see good conversation make a come back as an art form. Feel free to leave comments or your thoughts. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
Lots of good points in this article.