Holy moly, that’s the second one I read from you and your flow of words into sentences into images into my brain and soul is pretty amazing.
The topic itself actually is of highest relevance to me as I find the greatest joy in setting foot in, navigating my way, cherishing the view from the highest mountain tops, climbing down windy caves, entering the messiest molochs as well as the remote hermitage in that thick thick forest with the big scary trees – on the inner landscape of the person I’m having a conversation with. But as I can only get the permission to enter by not being shallow, by not being a smart-ass, by not being a self-centred buzzword-machine – then the way smalltalk is mostly understood and carried out, it’s not for me. But as I also don’t give a rats ass of common conventions, I use every possibility I get to truly get to know someone, might it be 5 mins in the lobby at a conference, or 1 hr while the elevator broke down. And then it’s not hard to get through such a conversation despite how long it is, because when it comes down to people and what they can tell about themselves, about where they come from, who they are, who they think they are, who they thought they were, what they want, what they need, what inspires them, what makes them laugh, cry, angry – I mean there is a lifetime of stuff going on, so an average duration to ‘smalltalk’ is covered is easily. And what kind of tactics, strategies I use you might ask? I really just try hard to listen, not just the actual words, but listen to the whole human-being in front of me, listen to their eyes, listen to their hands moving, listen to their pauses, to all the signals their current state of being is sending out to me. And most of the time it works and I get permission to enter.
So I would say, you are truly right, a conversation shouldn’t be a battleground no matter how small of a talk it might feel like (of course, there are certain tactics that might help you achieve a specific agenda).
A conversation is jaw-droppingly fascinating: think about it, the inner spheres of two physically separate entities connect through sound which represents meaning encoded in words which actually can be decoded again to some degree to build understanding between each other – holy crap, it’s the most trivial thing, but sometimes when I think about it, it blows my mind over and over again that we aren’t already extinct due to lack of simpler, less prone to misunderstanding ways of communication!
Just like your two hemispheres fire about in melody to write such great reads.