Normalizing the landscape of chatter
We text, we are on social media, we jump on zoom calls, we email and WhatsApp each other, indeed we are so creative about finding ways to communicate with each other in every way that does not call for human interaction. Interactions in today's world of rushed deadlines, microwave dinners and polarized opinions seem to be heading towards extinction.
It does not have to be this way - lets find our way back to the old fashion world of talking and listening to one another. 2020 has been a defining year with most of us operating in silos, isolated and secluded, so it has become more imperative to group together through the warmth of conversations.
Solace in Unsettling Times
Social media offers a distorted presentation of our life and what is happening in it. Viewing the snapshots of other people's lives is no indication of their true reality. Wendy Kraus a 15-year psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker says, "Lately, though, “there has been a step away from the overly curated conversations and surface-level connectedness promoted through social media,” . Kraus goes on to say, “What I’m hearing is that people are much more vulnerable in conversation, much more prone to truth-telling. I feel really heartened by that". Therein lies a nugget of hope.
Seeking the intimacy of conversation, reaching out to one another to make meaningful connections - that makes for authentic and real outreach. It harks back to the fact that we are essentially social animals who have been denied communal intimacy and contact needing to pause and pivot once more.
Conversation calls upon us to be humane, vulnerable and open minded. Our thoughts have to be present in the moment, paying attention to each other, adapting to become good listeners. Being immersed in the conversation allows us to pick up subtle verbal cues and nuances as we saturate ourselves in the authenticity of the shared experience. It is not just about waiting for a pause to insert our opinion though that can certainly enhance the dialogue. Conversations and discussions are a platforms to find common ground, exchange ideas and create comradeship. The art of conversation goes beyond the casual banal chatter to the point when you are genuinely invested in what the other person is saying.
The lessons have to start early. Even as technology teaches babies how to swipe screens and find functionality to read books online and play video games, we have to tutor them to engage in dinner table conversation, greet guests and know how to initiate a conversation.
When we are tempted to text a friend, pick up the phone and call instead. Being curious and empathic is the easiest way to make inroads with any conversation - most people are waiting to interact so no wonder the floodgates swing open soon enough. Conversations should not be a monologue, unless you need to vent, instead it ought to be like a team sport - a two way interaction, to make it meaningful.
“A good conversation is one where we are sharing authentically from the heart,” Kraus says. Does this resonate with you, dear reader? Share your stories - lets start a dialogue and let the conversations continue......
We are stronger together