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Your Weekly Wellness Wednesday

I took a class several years ago that was about ‘conversational skills.’ I was misled to think it was simply about conversation, because really it was about communication, clarity and relationship-building.  

One thing the instructor suggested was to look back at the last five conversations you had with anybody in your life and think of that as illustrative in defining that relationship. I sloughed off the idea until I really thought about it, and dang, it showed me a lot.

What kind of real conversation do you have with people who matter in your life? Is it transactional?  

“Hey, did you pick up the groceries?”

“What do you want for dinner?”

Functional?

“How was your day?”

“Should we go to the library to study?”

Relation-building?

“I want to tell you about this awesome thing I learned in Philosophy class today!”

“Hey, how is your dad doing in taking care of your mom?”

You may have heard of the “slow eating” trend; pay attention to what’s in front of you. Limit distractions. Do not do anything else while you’re eating. Apply this to real conversation. Do not do anything else while you’re in conversation. This means more than just putting away your phone; no TV, no watching the people out the window, no listening to music.  

Relationship-building. This includes talking about things that matter, demonstrating care and interest in someone else, and sharing things that have meaning. In our 24/7 culture we blow through things that matter, and rush onto the next exciting thing. Pause and remember we are human BEings, not human DOings.  

During this last year, we’ve become out of practice with face to face conversation. It’s too easy to turn away, stay away and just say no to opportunities of connecting with others. Are you taking mostly online classes? Do you decide on activities based on whether or not you will need to interact with people? Is this conundrum impacting your well-being?

Remember that you’re not alone. It is to be expected that we’re anxious, uncomfortable and frequently second-guessing ourselves in the choices we make.   

So start with small conversations. And give it your full attention. I guarantee it matters

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