Save The Dying Art Of Conversations

Save The Dying Art Of Conversations

There is nothing more valuable and genuine than the ability to have a deep relationship with others.
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From texting to emailing to snapping and everything in between it has become clearly evident that the art of real conversation is becoming extinct. From millennials to baby boomers, the act of sitting down for long periods of time to just talk with someone on a deeper level has become a foreign and unthinkable concept. This is a result of a faster moving society, the uprising of the digital and social media frontier, and, as a result, the lack of emotional connection with one another. How often do you see people sitting down for long periods of time having engaging conversations in regular communal places? Not often I bet. The norm of deeper conversations has become brisk talks about how our government is lacking, why liberal ideologies are the future, and how tragically our world is blowing up into war and terror. These are all good topics don't get me wrong, but they require more thought and conversation than just 140 characters on twitter from bandwagon jumping people. Those actions won't spur the change that everyone is seeking, but real conversations will.

We have somehow gotten it into our heads that we always need to keep moving faster and/or always need to be doing something, as if it is going to fill the voids in our lives magically. I'm not saying that all of our progression is pointless, because it's not, but there are some times in our lives where we need to just take a step back from the daily grind and talk with people. Going deeper into conversations about art, politics, religion, self-care, etc.There can only be so much progression without conversation. Though it seems like taking an hour or two out of your day is pointless and unproductive I promise you that it is not. You can learn so much about the person you're talking with, about the world around you, and develop your current ideologies. There is nothing more valuable than having knowledge and an open mind.

Everything in life is a small part of a larger train reaction,and the constant need to keep moving has pushed us into a digital mindset that prevents the want to have a face to face or even just a verbal conversation with others. The act of taking out our phones and texting someone when we need to talk to them has become a tragic reflex, and I am no more guilty of this then the next. Calling someone and physically talking with them seems like too much of a task that requires energy we feel like we don't already have. Which in turn is a lame excuse we tell ourselves. Social media sights are another breeding ground for nonverbal communication. Tweeting or sub tweeting at someone to either complain or comply has become a common way of communicating to someone your thoughts, but in actuality it is just petty and/or in-genuine. Ironically, if you look close enough you will notice that the people who use social media the most are the ones who crave deeper connections with others. No real deep connections can be formed through social media replies alone. It can be a starting point, but at some point verbal and face to face interactions need to occur for a real emotional connection to occur.

I said it before and I'll say it again, real change and real connections are formed through verbal and physical conversations. There is an unspoken act of genuine care that shows through when you take the time to truly show you care by talking and communicating with others around you.

This article was written with the intention of being a wake up call, and not one of condemnation and hypocrisy because this is an issue we all suffer from to a certain degree. If you want to be the change or cultivate deeper relationships start by asking a friend, family member or anyone else you see fit to coffee or dinner or whatever else suits you, and see where it goes from there. Sometimes this strategy isn't for everyone, so I encourage you to find ways that are comfortable for you to engage in more physical communications. After you establish the "meeting" evaluate the content. Go deeper than asking about the weather or what's up with them. Ask questions that will enable you to have deeper conversations.

About a year ago, I spoke with a dear friend about this very topic and she brought up the concept of writing down questions you have asked or have been asked of you. This list can then be used as a tool for future conversations. Below are just a few questions I have on my list I received from my friend.

"How do you feel close to people?"

"What's your personality?"

"What's one of your favorite sensory experiences?"

"What are a few topics that are essential for the closest people to you to know about/be caught up to date with you on, in order for you to feel fully known?"

"Is "home" a place(s) and/or a persons(s)? Why?

Initially reading or answering these kinds of questions can feel uncomfortable or unanswerable. Either because it makes you too vulnerable or it is something you've never really considered, but that just goes to show how socially inept our society has become. We have found it awkward and uncomfortable to share who we really are. Questions like these don't need to be dived into immediately, but it should be something to work towards. Deeper bonds will last forever and help our society's ability to grow stronger.

Take a breath and be the change to save the dying art of conversation.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Celebrating My Mom: Her Beauty and Strength

Here's to the most inspirational woman in my life.

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In observance of International Women's Day on March 8th, it is of paramount importance that we take a few moments to consciously recognize the women in our lives. We often call the women we adore by casual names like "Mom", "my sister", or "my girlfriend", and, usually, these nouns are intimate enough to replace their names---but not today. Today is for appreciating you, Melanie Daugherty, my mom---not as my mother, but as a human whom I hold with the highest regards.

It is easy for me to recall the innumerable times you've embraced me (even though I considered myself to be a disappointment), forced me to put my qualms into perspective, or insisted I put my aspirations into action (because "can't is too lazy to try") ; but, the magnitude of your accomplishments shouldn't always be measured by its impact on me, however, if it were to be, let it be the times you've inspired me.

Mom, I have always appreciated you, but I truly began to define you as my idol during my sophomore year of high school. During this time, I began experiencing shame in my identity. I was an athletic girl, but suffered from body dysmorphia, as well as a misunderstood and pessimistic perception of my inner thoughts. I became very introspective and was completely fixated on thoughts of worthlessness and lack of purpose. I assumed chronic fatigue was just a characteristic of being a teenager. In me, you recognized a past version of who you once were. I cried to you and you embraced me in your arms. My deteriorating state of mental health was not your burden, and you refused to let me define myself by diagnoses and prescriptions. Recognizing your success and triumph over anorexia and depression motivated me. I was so proud to be your daughter. Knowing that confidence and appreciation for the world was possible to achieve accelerated me into a period of self-reflection and determination. I wanted to trace your template of self-improvement with my footsteps and create a new image of myself---one that would reignite my childhood "spark".

You're not just my hero for saving me, but for giving me someone to admire. You live your life without limitations. Competing in the 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon is an accomplishment in itself, competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is even more incredible, and completing eight of these triathlons is enough for most people to call you "crazy" rather than by your name. Your greatest demonstration of strength however, was not through athletic prowess, but through mental and emotional perseverance.

Losing your best friend to breast cancer was almost inconceivable because no one ever wants to acknowledge it as a possibility. What people also try to forget, is that it is just as possible for their lives to be taken from them. After learning to cope with your best friend's death, you were diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Watching you grow progressively weaker was enervating in itself. This wasn't a reality I was able to accept as truth, partially because you were my mom, but also because your strength was an aspect of you that I didn't think could ever be taken from you---and I was right.

Although your complexion grew pallid and your body could no longer sustain itself, your mindset remained the same. You would not accept a last breath, and you ensured that every breath you took reiterated that. You demonstrated to me that positivity is the panacea that combats a discouraged mind.

Mom, for you, I am proud. I am grateful to have lost sometimes, because without loss, I wouldn't have been able to realize my strength, and I wouldn't have realized that if you hadn't been my anchor.

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