Let’s talk talking. You know that almost lost art of communication where people speak words to each other verbally. Now those that know me, know I like to text, and if you truly know me you know why, but for those who don’t know me or know why it is because I find that texting is sometimes a more convenient way to ‘talk’ to someone because I don’t know if their current situation will allow verbal communication or perhaps it is my current situation does not allow it and to be honest I am a lot more articulate on “paper” than I am verbally.
With that being said, let’s talk talking.
There seems to be a few different styles of talking or communicating verbally. There is the monologue style. According to one definition a monologue is “a prolonged talk or discourse by a single speaker, especially one dominating or monopolizing a conversation.” Now I admit there are times when a monologue is appropriate, such as, comedians, teachers, professors, CEO’s, etc… But I am sure we all know someone outside of those examples who just can’t help themselves they monopolize conversations.
The next talking style is the ever popular lecture style. A lecture is defined as “a speech of warning or reproof as to conduct; a long, tedious reprimand.” This is where a monologue could end up if you are not careful and attune to your ‘audiences’ reactions. This is what we were regularly accused of giving to our children when they were young. “The Lecture.” The beginning of the lecture (and they knew it was coming) was usually preceded by eye rolls from our girls, then the zoned out look about half way through. If we had been smart we would have stopped sooner but we didn’t always follow our gut and just stop so sometimes it didn’t end as well as we had hoped. I wondered sometimes we thought that after we had to ‘lecture’ our daughters they were going to say “Oh thank you mommy and daddy for that lecture, you are so right and I was so wrong?” Yeah right, that never happened!
Finally there is the conversational style of talking. A Conversation is defined as “informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk; colloquy (a conversational exchange, dialogue).”
I like conversations. I like this definition because it says an informal interchange of thoughts and information. I like the give and take of an informal conversation. Unlike the monologue or the lecture, which tend to focus on one topic, conversations can be about anything and everything and all in the same conversation. I like the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and opinions in an informal, non threatening atmosphere. I also like the ‘small talk’ that happens when you are first getting to know someone. The easy questions you ask to learn more about them. I enjoy the ‘small talk’ that happens when you get together with friends and family as you catch up on their lives. I like laughing about things with people. I personally don’t think all conversations have to be in-depth, probing, serious or based on current affairs. Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone about little things, silly things and know that they are listening to you with genuine interest and to return that interest by listening to them. There is a time and place for serious conversations but be aware that there is a fine line between talking “with” someone (conversation) and talking “at” someone (lecture or monologue). Remembering this is important to having true conversations with people and developing those relationships that are important to you.
So the next time you are engaged in conversation with someone think about it, are you really conversing or are you engaging in a monologue or a lecture? Are you allowing that person to share their own thoughts and ideas or are you dominating the conversation with your own thoughts and ideas? It’s an easy trap to fall into. I have to guard against it myself, I have to remember that it’s not all about me and what I have to say, but it’s about the other person too.
So here’s to small talk and to conversations that develop relationships with the people who make you smile and laugh, who are there when you need to cry and whine, who allow you to be who you are without judgment or criticism, who will stand by your side through whatever life tosses at you!
Go out and have an awesome conversation with someone today!
*any resemblance to real or imagined individuals, living or dead, is purely unintentional. All opinions here are solely the opinion of the author. If you see yourself in this post , oops!