There is so much we do not know about each other, yet after an initial or a few exchanges (sometimes via technology) we are quick to make conclusive judgments about each other as if they are facts and dispose of each other while never having a proper conversation to seek clarity.
I speak often about The Art of Conversation, because it is indeed an art. A few email-text-SM exchanges are not conversations. The Art is being intentional and present while engaging each other. To discard the 3Cs (convert, condemn, convince) and instead to converse to learn, expand, think, listen, build, etc. To ask direct questions instead of making assumptions. Oh, the dreaded assumptions; we are all guilty of this. Making assumptions results in quite possibly missing out on absolutely beautiful adventures because we opted out based on our limited assessment of a person, opportunity, etc.
How often do you ask someone or communicate:
- What do you mean by?
- How do you operationally define X?
- That’s interesting, because for me Y means…
- Is this mandatory for you or a preference?
- Are you okay? Your tone seems to indicate something is happening.
- Sometimes when someone does Action A it means X. For you, what does Action A mean?
To be honest, I am quite amazed humans are able to get along at all because of the different narratives and interpretations constantly being made in our minds for absolutely EVERYTHING. Couple this with how each of our individual wounds, experiences, beliefs, etc. color our perspective. I guarantee you EACH of us have drawn incorrect conclusions about someone and have no idea how wrong we were.
Assumption are the lazy person’s way of interfacing with the world. They write a few adjectives on a box and move through the world placing people in these boxes, never really getting to know each other and never truly knowing love or self.
This year I implore you to begin to converse and engage differently. Begin interacting from a heart space, meaning The Art of Conversation which is to learn. No more of this only looking for things to support the conclusions you prematurely formulated in your mind. Realize, everyone is different.
- All men are not the same as the man who broke your heart.
- All women are not the same as the woman who broke your heart.
- All men are not like your father.
- All women are not like your mother.
- All women are not like the woman who betrayed you.
- All men are not like the man who betrayed you.
- All women are not like your ex-wife.
- All Americans are not…
- All Africans are not…
- All people who subscribe/practice a particular religion are not…