Monday, 28 November 2011

The Secret Of Polite Conversation

Is not to bother. I'm serious. I mean what's the point? I know that silence can be awkward, and we kind of feel we should fill the blanks, but ask yourself, is it any more than white noise? Now I'm a quite down the line kind of guy, and I'd much rather have a discussion worthy of our time, or at least a joke or a quip; anything but uncomfortable musings about the weather or other rubbish that neither of us give a rats arse about. So let's cut the following deal; don't feel under any obligation to fill the empty space should our paths ever cross. It's not that I don't want to chat; it's just that I'd rather engage with you on a meaningful level, because that's when people connect and make real contact, and those episodes are always worth tuning into. 
It's a funny thing; over the last couple of weeks I've been chatting on and off with people that I've worked alongside for three years yet haven't spoken to before,  and it always shocks me how my initial appraisal of a person is so wrong. There's always more to them than I credit them for, some intriguing layer, something I just didn't expect to find there. This is about as cool as interaction get's, that moment when we have to re-calibrate and adjust our definitions of people. That's contact worth having. On the flip side, and if you're at all like me there are some people that it seems very hard to engage with, and thats not a critique by the way. Is it a chemistry thing? Have we allowed our pre-suppositions to get in the way of something more? I couldn't honestly say. 
When alls said and done I love nothing more than relationship building, forming alliances with people and learning how they tick. But I never force the issue; if something's going to flourish its going to have a natural element to it, which takes us full circle to just why I dislike this social convention we call polite conversation. It's just a hindrance as far as I can tell, and it's boring too. Do any of us want to waste the time we have? That's not to say we should be motivated by selfish intentions; if I see somebody looking a little flat or down I'll often ask how they are. If they are not in the right place to tell me, or simply do not wish to then lets fine. I've done my bit, I've reached out tentatively.
No idea why I'm writing this, by the way.  I'm just off on one.

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