No one is born fully formed. In truth, no one ever is fully formed.
We are constantly growing. People in motion. A work in progress.
And this all seems obvious enough, but when it comes to expressing our opinion we can feel a need to defend our point of view to the point of embarrassment.
Here’s an idea – what if your view on a matter is wrong?
Or perhaps not wrong, but could your view be improved?
We all know that person whose only intent in a conversation is to sound the smartest. The more their ideas are questioned, the more they feel threatened. Often they are poor company.
Sometimes we are reluctant to concede an opinion, or to let an opinion be vulnerable. If our opinion is open to question or is fallible, it feels like that invalidates our right to even have an opinion.
There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion even if you don’t have all the facts. That’s why we have conversations, to inform our opinion. Let that opinion be vulnerable.
We shouldn’t be shy in questioning an opinion even if we don’t necessarily oppose it. We also shouldn’t be reluctant to change our own opinion.
So rather than conversation being merely people debating – a contest to see who is the smartest – try to explore ideas instead. Debate those ideas even, but open to the issue’s merits either way.
You’re a work-in-progress. Embrace that position.
Don’t aim to be the one in a conversation who gets to ride the high-horse. Aim to be the one who learns the most.
What should you talk about when you know a conversation is only going to be brief?
If you want to have a rewarding conversation with someone, never ask this question.
There is a reason we are social. It's to be known.
Last week, we discussed the importance of not interrupting others. But sometimes an interruption can actually enhance a conversation.
You hate being interrupted, but do you interrupt others?
Couples fall in love when they become interested in each other. But as you start to become less interesting to each other, what can be done to stop another interesting person jeapordizing the relationship?
What's your favorite band? What's your favorite book? People shoot down "favorite" questions because they haven't got an answer ready. But you don't need an answer to discuss these questions.
Disappointed by how you're answering questions? This is how conversation motivates you to change for the better.
When starting a conversation, we can jump to the most obvious question. Chances are, this person has heard this question a lot and is now bored by it.
It may surprise you that it's OK not to talk sometimes.