Monday, October 07, 2013

Know What You Are Saying

Over coffee recently, we discussed how conversations are encouraged and how useful they are.  This statement was made; "You seem to know everything about the folk around here." From the question you might not be certain how to take it: negatively or positively

At first the comment was taken as negative: as in nosy, prying, pushy.  The reaction was a quick denial.   "These people just wanted to talk and I listened."  A third party chimed in and said , "People don't just stop me so they can talk", so it wasn't just the fact that these people just wanted to talk. You must have said something. It was accepted that there must have been some sort of "solicitation"  to converse.

After considerable discussion, denials, accusations and disbelief it finally boiled down to two things. First, we all agreed that it was not negative ask questions. The defensive statement was reasonable saying, "Of course I ask questions.  That's how conversations are maintained."  And that is true.  In addition, if you are just a face with no apparent interest in what is being said the conversation will be short or nonexistent. 

We often ignore the nonverbal aspect of communication. If you look like someone who might "know", folk will ask you.  If you look like someone who is as lost as anyone else, why would they ask? Some of us appear to be open to a conversation and some of us less so. When you are apparently open to a conversation you are much more likely to find yourself in a conversation.

Keep in mind, it is impossible to avoid communicating.  Ask yourself, what am I saying?  Don't forget that communication is irreversible.

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