My favourite things – Day 5: Conversations!

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Day 5: Conversations!

Today I will be writing about the fifth thing in my list of favourites. Today’s ‘thing’ is a concept as well as an activity. This one is about having great conversations with people and all that I enjoy about it!

conversation

So a conversation is classically defined as an interaction between two parties. We could go on to classify conversations a bit more depending on the nature of the parties involved – conversations with self, with people, with things, with God, with pets. In today’s age, we have another kind of classification depending on the medium used for conversing – in addition to the classical conversation of talking in person; it could as well be a typed (written) conversation through letters or through chats on devices over the internet; or over phone.

What I am particularly trying to describe today is the simplest form of conversation that involves interacting with a different person through talking. The bare essentials of conversing in my opinion revolve around this simplest definition, and this is mainly what I enjoy the most as well 🙂

I like to talk to people about their lives, their stories, my life and stories as also general ideas, concepts, information and philosophies. In our everyday life and routine, we have general casual conversations that involve discussions about stuff, as also emotionally intense comforting conversations. I enjoy both kinds, and there is definitely a lot to gain and learn from each of them.

In the real sense, I love knowing people itself – knowing their life, their everyday routines, their choices – and the best way for me to do so is through talking to a person itself. Here it’s not simply strangers that I am talking about. Having a good conversation lets you know different facets of the personalities of your closest relations, parents, friends, spouse or even children. What is interesting is that a conversation is a great way of getting to know a person, as also getting to know yourself. In a way, the way you converse tells you a lot of things about your own self – so it’s a learning exercise on your side as well! The next important thing that happens through conversations is you get to exchange a lot of concepts and ideas and also gain newer perspectives by listening to what people have to say about a particular concept. Innovative ideas, brainstorming, trouble shooting all are easily accomplished through a single good conversation. I enjoy all these aspects of conversing with people, and thus an enriching conversation is one which either i. takes you closer to knowing that person ii. Takes you closer to knowing yourself iii. Leads to exchange of ideas and gives you new knowledge iv. Provides a new perspective of thinking.

To me, the entire experience of a conversation is important. By that I mean, it’s the other person’s words, use of pauses, body language, other distractions, gestures which are all equally important in conveying the overall theme of a talk. I especially like to pay extra attention to the choice of words, construction of sentences, and peculiarity of unique words used by that person. And of course, to what makes that person laugh.

An underlying unwritten necessity of a good conversation for me is actually two things – honesty of participation in the talk and lack of judgmental attitude towards the other person. The kinds of conversations that I enjoy are the relaxed ones which involve these two factors. It’s fun to converse with introverts and extroverts alike if these two aspects are taken care of 🙂 Some great memories of conversations that I have had include ones with a friend during evening walks, with cousins and friends when I have visited them in a different city, with my father on the day before my wedding, with my better half during our initial days of knowing each other, with a stranger old lady on a flight, with an elderly uncle in the waiting room of a doctor among many others!

I recently read about the concept of a ‘Human Library’ which is based on ‘reading’ a new person through conversations with the person and listening to that person’s story. I absolutely loved this concept, and am looking forward to participating in something of this sort J Who’s up with me on this?

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