The art of conversation.

What exactly does this mean? Some people have the knack of knowing what to say when you really don’t know, or can’t think of anything to say. These people know just the right questions to ask, how much to talk, and when they have said enough. Easier said than done, right?

When beginning a conversation with someone we usually start off with a standard hello greeting. Many times we follow up with a question. For example: "Hi, how are you?" Responses to this inquiry are varied. Most commonly we respond, "Fine, and how are you?" This is the beginning of a conversation.

Now imagine this, what if we actually responded, if you will, truthfully on tell them how we "really" are? The conversation might go something like this, "Hi, how are you?" "Well actually, I’m not doing so well today. My dog chewed up my favorite pair of shoes, I’m having a little stomach irritation today and I’m not looking forward to going to work." Did they really want to hear all that? Probably not, but if you’ve ever seen the movie, The Invention of Lying, you would understand just how different our conversations would be if we could never tell a lie.

The meaning of conversation is: the spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions, and feelings; talk.

Simple enough right? Wrong. There are things that should and should not be brought up in a conversation, so they say. We have all been warned not to discuss politics or religion with most people. So my next question is, what topics are safe to discuss? Answer: It’s always a safe bet to talk about the weather and if you think about it, the weather does seem to be a popular subject. How many times do you, in the course of a week, discuss the weather with someone? There are times that I think we discuss the weather more than is necessary. Why? I’m not really sure, other than maybe we have nothing else to say or it’s just one of those safe subjects that you can discuss with just about everyone you meet. It’s also a good thing to talk about when you don’t have anything else to say and you are trying to avoid that uncomfortable silence you sometimes run across in a conversation.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the one-sided conversation. Have you ever had on of those? You know what I’m talking about, where the person you are conversing with does all the talking and you do all the listening? Listening is a vital part of a conversation and we should be every mindful of remembering to do an equal amount of talking and listening for there to be a balanced and meaningful conversation where both parties come away with a sense of fulfillment.

I like people, for the most part, and I enjoy greeting, meeting and getting to know people every day. It makes me smile to greet someone, be polite and inquire about their well being. I wouldn’t say that I have the art of conversation down to a science, but I do know that at least, here in Arkansas, it’s usually a safe bet to discuss the weather and throw in a, "How ‘bout them Hogs?" every now and then for a successful conversation to happen.

The whole point of this rambling is to say, "Hi, How are you today?"

Random Ramblings by Jackie Sikes is submitted randomly, of course