Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dying for a conversation

This new ad from Kleenex makes me really jealous. I'd love to have that gift of being able to sit down and just connect with people. Anybody. Maybe the ad is staged using clever actors (some of my friends think so). Maybe it's for real (the gullible fool in me wants to beleieve this). Either way it doesn't really matter - the point is that the art of conversation seems to be dying. I wonder if that's why blogs are becoming more popular these days? Here I am, wanting to talk so I just type some thoughts into the screen and come back tomorrow to see if anyone might have responded, just a little one liner to make my day and remind me that somebody out there affirms my existence!

If I was brave enough (and if it was July not January) I might drag a sofa into Piccadilly Gardens and erect a sign saying, TEACH ME TO CHAT! I'd ask passers by to share with me the Tai Chi of conversation - how to get it started - how to keep it going - how to wrap it up. But who am I kidding? I've become far too safe for all that nonsense... the house is warm, the keyboard is convenient and somebody out there in cyberspace might just want to talk back...

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Gavin Deakin said...

I agree, the art of conversation seems to be dying.

For me, life is just so busy, and moves so fast, that I don’t take the time to converse with those around me. I wonder how many opportunities I missed today?

Jez said...

I am so grateful that one of the many things my parents have taught me is how to be a conversation starter. I think the key is being interested in people and being confident in oneself.

Urban Guru said...

i think taking a sofa into piccadilly Gardens is a great idea I might even do it in the summer - to promote my life coaching - thanks for the heads up!

JMW said...

The dao of conversation? Try this for size: Conversation doesn't matter, people do.
So much of our comedy is based on cultivating new forms of social awkwardness that can be used for comic effect (see half of friends) the issue, as with everything, is to show people that you want their good. So don't worry if the flow tanks in places, you could fill the gaps with mindless chatter, or you could brave the possibility of silence and let your interests come out, particularly your interest in them. One thing I am going to start trialing is "So interests you then?" or something like that to try to cut through the safety-barrier of normality to the person and their passions. Remember that if you are comfortable enough with yourself, and are motivated by love, you shouldn't worry about being unexpected, or saying innapropriate things, because you will be able to pull it off. After all, you have been pulling off being you for quite a few years now! The other side is body language, but that mostly gets covered by attitude, and what doesn't can't really be taught over the internet. (Although maybe it could involve stickmen and smilies!)

Now all of that is something you could get from any old book, but we have a unique advantage: Jesus gained favour with God and man, so we can too as we grow more like him! And don't forget that you have God backing you up, so you can be "rubbish" but still change someones life.

Anonymous said...

The art of conversation is dying - i think you are right. I have refused to join myspace or any such network purely because i don't want that to substitute real one-to-one relationships in my life. But then i'm not much of a chatter either, and would greatly benefit from someone teaching me the necessary skills too!

The one thing i have realised recently though is that sometimes conversation doesn't matter as much as you think... sometimes people just want someone to simply 'sit with them' or spend time with them, and don't even mind what it is you do or say, so long as they have someone with them, who is prepared to be with them and give them time even if they can't make good conversation. Infact sometimes i think it can show more love if you are prepared to simply sit with someone, rather than ramble away just to fill the silences. I think there is a beauty and power in silence which is dying just as much as conversation.