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Sunday Letter: The Art of Social Conversation

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Sunday Letter: The Art of Social Conversation
Good Morning,
I have talked to a couple of people in March who said they are in between seasons and they felt it. It made them feel a bit off, not ready to leave, not ready to begin. I loved their honestly. Their willingness to say "Well things are ok but not perfect." in response to" how are you?".
It takes some courage to tell the truth socially. To be open with each other. But when we tell each other how we experience the world, we are given the chance to connect. And connection is powerful.
And it does not have to be that things are not ok. Sometimes it is hard to tell people the impact of the profound and the wonderful. How a book you are reading is changing the way you think. Or how a person you are working with is making your life so much nicer. Sometimes things are really good but if you are like me you might just answer "good" instead of really talking. It almost feels like if you gush about your life you are at risk of being a braggart.
If you go on too much about what's wrong no one will want to ask you how you are ever again.
Sometimes when I see people they ask me "What's new?" three or four times. I do it myself sometimes to others. But I don't really like that question. It is a habit we have. It puts the onus on the person you are talking to to drive the conversation forward. Once they tell you what's new you can go from there.
And it's hard to come up with what's new. Like right there on the spot it feels like you have to make something up. And how much do you say before you risk boring someone. And how much is too much?
I'm never sure.
Actually, sometimes I almost feel awkward. Yup I do.
Am I alone here? Is the art of social conversation just wonky for me.
I can be a good talker. I am relatively confident. And I think I am pretty good with people. But bring me out on a Saturday evening, or sit me down to supper with a group and suddenly I'm feeling like I am in high school and having to fit in with the popular gang. So I am quiet. And when I am quiet I often think about the rug I am making or the book I am reading, or the way the light is reflecting on the wall and I drift off.
This is me.
Not your funnest dinner party guest. I want to be better but when I get there I retreat and let the big dogs have their day. They are so good at it. And I enjoy them, even if I do wander back home to my comfy chair in my mind.
I find it hard to sit for too long.
I find it hard to know what to say.
And I am prone to getting lost in thought. Not big important thoughts, just minor "I wonder what's for dessert." thoughts.
And I am admitting here that making conversation in social settings is hard for me.
That is why I admire the people who told me they felt off because they were between seasons. They gave us a place to go in the conversation. Their honestly made it easy to go forward, to discover more about each other. Conversation could flow. Connections could be made.
The people who put themselves out there a little light up the room. They don't take over, they are not boastful. They are interested in others and they are inclusive. They tell you what's new with out you having to ask. They are the connectors and they are good dinner guests. And I am thankful for them. In fact, I want to be a bit more like them. Not sure I can or will be, but it's on my mind for a while, and that's a starting point.
So next time I'll try to curb the "What's new?" question and start with something better. Maybe I'll even write myself a couple of crib notes to open up the conversation. No promises, I have been this way for a long time. Still, there's always time to become a little better. I'm working' on it.
Thanks for reading, for letting me share my thoughts with you. I hope you have a good week,
Deanne
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