ARE AUSTRALIANS AFRAID OF CONVERSATION?
Australian enterprise Awkward Silence is getting the nation to face up to our greatest fear – a fear of real conversation.
Australians quickly make meaningless small-talk about weather or sport. We drink alcohol as a “social lubricant” so that we can tolerate mind-numbing interactions. We opt for text messages & email to communicate.
Awkward Silence owner & chief writer Steven Benbow points out that Australia’s conversation skills have become laughable.
“The common Australian treats a genuine conversation like it’s some kind of bogeyman” said Mr Benbow.
“How quick are Australians to reverse or divert a conversation that has accidently gotten personal, vulnerable, unpredictable or sentimental? The instinct is to run away!”
“We often even talk about the soap opera of politicians because it means we don’t have to say something real about ourselves.”
Awkward Silence are suggesting a new attitude & approach to conversation that will help Australians overcome their fears.
“We should become afraid of dull conversations rather than embracing them. And we need higher expectations of our conversations” suggests Mr Benbow.
“When someone bowls up another pointless comment about the weather, let it go through to the keeper and instead ask them a more engaging question, something that will actually create a worthwhile interaction”.
Awkward Silence are enabling Australians to do this through their weekly release of new conversation topics. Examples include asking “what is the worse movie ever?”, “what will you change about yourself in the next 12 months?”, “how would you describe yourself for an online dating profile?”, and “what makes for a sincere apology?”.
Mr Benbow points out “Conversation is a powerful thing. It’s where we friendship comes alive, and is the most important building block of any relationship. It’s where ideas bloom and new perspectives are discovered. Talk with someone and you will be fascinated, valued, challenged and enlightened. You discover yourself.”
“A new attitude of expecting interesting conversation topics will change society for the better.”
Awkward Silence founder Steven Benbow would love to come on your program and have some real conversations about conversations with your hosts. Let’s show Australia there is nothing to be afraid of.