Yes, I get it. You are confident, you ask questions, and you’re not boring. In fact, you even listen to understand. The only problem is—there is nothing to listen to, because the other person just isn’t interested. How do you handle that kind of conversation? Is it possible not to be able to “connect” with someone?
This is the sequel to a previous post, click here to catch up!
New Girl: Hi
ME: I’m Testimony, Sam’s friend. How are you?
New Girl: Fine
ME: How’s the lockdown going for you?
New Girl: Fine
ME: So, what’s going on in your life?
New Girl: Nothing.
ME: (to type, or not to type…)
Funny, but not funny, no?
There is a friend I have, let’s call him Paul. Paul is a total woman charmer (trust me when I say that). He’s handsome, jovial, humorous—the works. You can’t ever get bored when he’s around, because he really knows how to put the “fun” in funny. The day in question, my friend Paul goes out to see this fine babe, and guess what he comes back to tell me?
“Omo, that babe no sabi o! She just dey spoil vibe. I dey tell you, we no just get any similarity at-all”
Now, when I heard that, it re-enforced my next rule:
Never—ever—Force a Conversation.
At this point, it would be best to give it to you straight: You’re not under any obligation to be close friends with everybody that comes into your life. A great majority of people you come across will be acquaintances, some casual friends, a few will be close friends, and even fewer will be intimate friends. Click here to download “Waiting and Dating” by Myles Munroe for more on the subject.
This alone will give you the mind-set that some conversations will probably only consist of “HIs’” and “HELLOs’”, while some special few will be impactful, engaging, interesting, and even life changing. The catch is to be able to discern that some conversations may not exceed the “pleasantries” stage—and that is no fault of yours.
On the flip side, it is also imperative that you know when to end a conversation. Some people don’t know this; so even after all “has been said and done”, they will still try to add some more. Reality check—Conversations are not meant to last forever! When you discover that the conversation is not going the way you’d like, it is okay to excuse yourself politely. Tomorrow is another day!
Know When—and How to Talk.
There are conversations you will experience in life, where all that the other party will need are your listening ears. It might be that they are going through a particularly bad day or an experience so saddening to the extent that no words can comfort. It will not do for you to interrupt and start babbling (yes, babbling!) about your own experiences, or whatnot. Who knows, just a hug might do the trick.
In addition, it is an offence to interrupt when a person is still making a point. The best you can do is wait; permit the person to finish, and then you can make your own contribution. A primary school quote comes to mind—“Barbarians talk in thousands”. Well, I’m not a barbarian, and I’m sure you’re not as well.
Likewise, when another person interrupts you when you are telling a story, or trying to make a point, do not continue until the person asks you to—even then, it should be done with the proper apologies. There is a line between closeness and over-familiarity; your opinions do matter, just like everyone else’s.
Use Words Wisely—certainly not as Weapons.
There’s something about using words as weapons, it destroys trust and wrecks relationships. Because I told you about my past, or confided in you about a challenge I’m facing, doesn’t give you any right to use them against me! If there’s anything you should do, it is to protect the hearts of your friends, and have their backs no matter what. Likewise, I would not advise you to keep reminding them during conversations of those stuff that are “nothing to write home about”—if they have gotten over it, then so should you. I hope you understand what I mean.
Furthermore, using words wisely entails getting rid of some cliché/fad. For instance, instead of saying, “Tell me about yourself” (which probably sounds like, “Dance. Monkey. Dance. Entertain me”); try “I’m curious about (….). It shows that you are observant—and will definitely win a point or two. #wink
Last, but not least, is to love yourself and be proud of who you are. Conversing is sharing your mind, your words, your expressions, and your personality to the other person. Have you ever heard the phrase, “I want to get to know you”? How else can you know someone unless by talking—and communicating—with him or her?
So what I’m trying to say is, don’t try to impress anyone with your conversations—unless it’s your crush (Just kidding!). Don’t try to live to any standard that God has not placed upon you. Respect others (and respect yourself—Ha!), and even though all your conversations may not be exciting, or “vibey”—they’ll surely be something to look back on and smile about.
So that’s all for this edition of Testimony’s Chronicles (just joking, LOL). I certainly hope I’ve not bored you and that you have gained a thing or two. Did I miss anything out? Did I get anyone right? Or would you like to complement, or criticize?
Please do so in the comments section below!