Conversation

The season of get-togethers is here. Last week we traveled home to Ohio and spent a whirlwind two days with his family, two days with mine. Tucked into every gap were lunches and dinners with far-flung friends.

2012-11-30-Thanksgiving-table
Dan’s aunt’s splendid Thanksgiving table

Now back in California for the month before Christmas, we’re accumulating plans to meet and make merry, whether it’s a company gala at a bayside hotel or a tree-trimming party in someone’s apartment.

With all this getting together comes tons of talking. I recently read something (can’t remember where) that has stuck in my mind about the art of conversation. The writer claimed that conversation is less artful now than in the past because we have all been trained to express ourselves rather than exchange ideas. That to do your part in a good conversation, you should make more questions than statements.

Ever since, I’ve been paying more attention to my conversations. And it’s true! In fact, when people get close to debating ideas, they often back quickly away. Is that your experience?

So I want to start improving my part of the conversation. Sharing ideas with others is one of the true joys in life and I don’t want to let it slip.

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2 thoughts on “Conversation

  1. can you give an example or something? i don’t understand “you should make more questions than statements.” also the difference between expressing yourself versus exchanging ideas…?

    the parts of this that my mind does wrap around is interesting though. especially since i’m comparing it to advice about people should do more listening rather than talking in a conversation.

    i do find this stuff rather fascinating. especially since a bugaboo of mine is when i feel like the people i’m conversing with aren’t actually listening, but rather waiting for their turn to speak. obviously i can be guilty of this sometimes, too, but i try to avoid it. plus this stuff is cool because people are endlessly fascinating.

    also, i blame my inability to comprehend all of this on my mid-afternoon slump and my grumpiness at my dress JUST NOW being shipped. hmph.

    also, yay update!

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