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The Conversationalist

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  • The Conversationalist

    Finding conversations can be way more difficult than it should be sometimes. Sometimes, it just seems like people don't really want to say anything. They don't want to share their thoughts. They want to tell people what they are or who they are, and maybe touch on some of what they believe, but they don't want to really talk to anybody.

    I went out on thursday night. I went alone. I do this sometimes so that I can just go out and meet people. I love meeting new people. I enjoy getting some variety in what I talk about, hearing new ideas is fun. Considering people's views and challenging your own beliefs is also really quite fun. Telling people why you really believe what you believe and sharing the thought process that brought you to your belief; seeing if you can change people's comfort level with you and seeing how well you can expand your tolerance for the views of others; all of these things, I find quite fun.

    Sometimes, it seems like others just don't. I went to some bars. I listen to several conversations at once. I pick up tidbits of each deciding which one to "crash". I hear two guys talking to a woman. They are all talking about people driving too fast and following to close on I-70. It's an easy conversation. Everybody has feelings about it and they are all the same. I think, "I can jump in and talk about the 60+ car pile ups that happen on rare occasions," but then I realize that these people are engaging in an easy conversation for a reason. They don't really care, they just are trying to keep things flowing and conversation like that allows that to happen. None of them is in the conversation to listen. They are in it to agree with eachother. If I join this conversation, I will feel hungry. They will probably resent me on some level for trying to increase the depth of their conversation which is not meant to be deep. I may come off as a "know-it-all". I could hijack the conversation, but I opt not to. I go to a different bar.

    The cycle continues. I sieve each conversation around me looking for something worthwhile to jump on. I'm disappointed way more often than I should be. I do find a good conversation with a geologist and an engineer from Florida. I get to mention the fact that ice on continents sinks them and that when it melts, the landmass will rise, but that the level of crust is actually below sea level when there is a glacier on it. I get to explain why I believe in Christianity to some degree and hint as to which questions I have had to answer for myself. I get to talk about how intelligent elephants are; that researchers have found that they have some semblance of language that allows them to communicate in frequencies too low for humans to hear and that their trunk is tactile and compares somewhat favorably with our hands as tactile tools that let them manipulate their environments and that their memories REALLY are terrific. The geologist lady brings up that elephants have been known to mourn.

    It takes a long time to sieve through so many vapid, innate conversations, but a nugget can be found. I talk to people about drugs and the affects on minds and how it compares with psychosis, we have conversations about cooking and how different types of starches thicken liquids differently. We talk about conversations and people's reluctance to engage in them (Actually what inspired this post.) We talk about so many things.

    Because, if we want to, we all have so many things that we can say. And if we are willing to listen, we can learn from anybody and everybody, but it can be work, so I go on looking for new people to converse with and being glad that I've met the ones that I have.

    Being fascinated by something feels great. Considering new ideas feels terrific. Learning new things is one of the best things to do in life. I wish that more people shared in that passion.

    EDIT: I just wanted to add that I talked to that geologist lady about the USGS on the Colorado School of Mines campus and I told her it was a major government installation with snipers on the roof and everything. It was pretty outlandish and when you say stuff like that, it's fun to look at people's faces when they hear it.
    Last edited by Archimedes Owl; 05-12-2007, 05:58 PM.
    My adopted fan is dogfish

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  • #2
    AO, I found your post very interesting.


    Sometimes I feel Bmania is somewhat like that. Many times I'm searching, but can't find that intellectual conversation that interests me on the board. Then every now and then I find that nugget.
    Last edited by Emancipator; 05-12-2007, 06:01 PM.
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    • #3
      i wasnt really listening to you so ill just agree
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      • #4
        .........



        :paper:
        Officially Objectified by the GPA

        rest in peace, darrent williams and damien nash-- you will be missed!!

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        • #5


          but ya i think i know what your talking about.

          when like your talking and the person isnt really listening to you??


          i dont know.
          white sox are done, broncos looking strong, lakers gonna win it all again.

          Originally posted by raylewis52
          you guys are the saddest team in nfl right now! 8-8 will win the west,.thats just a joke. there will be 6-8 teams sitting home with better records,
          smart fans, eh?

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          • #6
            You guys are awesome.
            My adopted fan is dogfish

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Archimedes Owl
              You guys are awesome.
              thank you.
              white sox are done, broncos looking strong, lakers gonna win it all again.

              Originally posted by raylewis52
              you guys are the saddest team in nfl right now! 8-8 will win the west,.thats just a joke. there will be 6-8 teams sitting home with better records,
              smart fans, eh?

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              • #8
                so, Owl are you saying that you cant find anyone to talk too?
                [URL=http://s93.photobucket.com/user/Saddletramp69/media/asdf.jpg.html][/URL
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                • #9
                  tough to have a conversation when people are justing thinking about what they are going to say next
                  Go Broncos, make me keep believing this year

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MN-Broncofreak
                    tough to have a conversation when people are justing thinking about what they are going to say next
                    The idea being that one must be a good listener to be able to have a good conversation as well.

                    I honestly have that problem sometimes. I don't just think about what I want to say next. I think about what I can learn in a conversation and how I can probe what people think.

                    Also, I think that part of my problem is finding a good environ for that to occur. And, I am in search for mingling partners when I go out and meet people like this. Bars aren't really terrific places to meet people who have the goal of engaging in any real conversation. Their goals are simply different most of the time and they are often drinking, but there are lots of people at bars talking about many disparate things, so I go to them in search of some conversations.
                    My adopted fan is dogfish

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                    • #11
                      Depending on the bar, it can be a struggle. My experience with people who are good at getting into conversations: usually they like the sound of their own voice too much. I listen for a living, and enjoy when natural conversations can emerge that devlop and are useful.

                      My experience with over-talking folks is that they just want to release something and don't care what you say back.

                      Originally posted by Archimedes Owl
                      The idea being that one must be a good listener to be able to have a good conversation as well.

                      I honestly have that problem sometimes. I don't just think about what I want to say next. I think about what I can learn in a conversation and how I can probe what people think.

                      Also, I think that part of my problem is finding a good environ for that to occur. And, I am in search for mingling partners when I go out and meet people like this. Bars aren't really terrific places to meet people who have the goal of engaging in any real conversation. Their goals are simply different most of the time and they are often drinking, but there are lots of people at bars talking about many disparate things, so I go to them in search of some conversations.
                      Go Broncos, make me keep believing this year

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Archimedes Owl
                        The idea being that one must be a good listener to be able to have a good conversation as well.

                        I honestly have that problem sometimes. I don't just think about what I want to say next. I think about what I can learn in a conversation and how I can probe what people think.

                        Also, I think that part of my problem is finding a good environ for that to occur. And, I am in search for mingling partners when I go out and meet people like this. Bars aren't really terrific places to meet people who have the goal of engaging in any real conversation. Their goals are simply different most of the time and they are often drinking, but there are lots of people at bars talking about many disparate things, so I go to them in search of some conversations.
                        Bars, as far as finding real conversation in groups I don't find to be an excellent place. It's very easy to start a conversation with the opposite sex in a bar, but even then I usually expect it to be the regular drag on drab about htis and that about who they are, what they are, and all the little things inbetween. Sometimes you find a real conversation there, but then finding "real" people in a bar isn't always easy either. I think bars are more about people promoting themselves, or having a good time with their friends, then ahving worthwhile discussions.

                        I think finding people to talk to about subjects you like are easiest found when the reason everyone congragates together is for a similar reason. For example, I love tlaking football with the guys I met in my flag football league. There are also courses at that place, Colorado Free University (just a place where people offer courses) where I have met people of all sorts of spectrums. I think its easier to talk with such people, because you have similar interests, and therefor probably mesh better together. Finding someone on the same elvel as you, whatever level that might be, is not always easy...

                        Great post though Archemides, definately worht the read..... and I completely agree with ya.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigBroncLove
                          Bars, as far as finding real conversation in groups I don't find to be an excellent place. It's very easy to start a conversation with the opposite sex in a bar, but even then I usually expect it to be the regular drag on drab about htis and that about who they are, what they are, and all the little things inbetween. Sometimes you find a real conversation there, but then finding "real" people in a bar isn't always easy either. I think bars are more about people promoting themselves, or having a good time with their friends, then ahving worthwhile discussions.

                          I think finding people to talk to about subjects you like are easiest found when the reason everyone congragates together is for a similar reason. For example, I love tlaking football with the guys I met in my flag football league. There are also courses at that place, Colorado Free University (just a place where people offer courses) where I have met people of all sorts of spectrums. I think its easier to talk with such people, because you have similar interests, and therefor probably mesh better together. Finding someone on the same elvel as you, whatever level that might be, is not always easy...

                          Great post though Archemides, definately worht the read..... and I completely agree with ya.
                          Still, the reason that bars can be appealing is because they can be spontaneous. This is what I like about them. And, I've talked about complex analysis and all sorts of different topics at bars before.

                          As far as the women go, I want to find intelligent ones, so conversation really is vital. I am happy when women approach me because they find a conversation that I'm engaged in as interesting and when they have something to contribute. That's really attractive to me.
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                          • #14
                            Interesting point.

                            The point you brought made me think of some things that recently have been bothering me... or maybe I shouldn't say bothering but I've been wondering about.

                            Paraphrasing Forrest Gump: "Starting a conversation is like a box of chocolates"

                            Every new conversation, when participants are willing, have the potential to share an immense wealth: experience, knowledge, points of view, funny stories, shed light on a diversity of topics... you name it.

                            The problem is, in my perception, that we are less and less willing to engage in these conversations, with the loss of this experience. Or to be fair, maybe this is my own perception, and probably it's me who has been less willing to interact with other people.

                            In any case, there are two obstacles that I've perceived:

                            First, it seems that we don't know the rules anymore. It seems that once we leave school or college, we simply lose the touch. Maybe it's because in those settings we are expected to engage in more or less serious conversations with fellow classmates, leaving the rest of the time (parties, bars, etc.) for "relaxing", not serious conversations (somebody in a bar most likely will be watching the game shown on the screens, with conversations not deeper than "nice play there"). Once you leave these setting, the outside world is different, the work environment certainly isn't usually as "conversation friendly", and you find your self without the skills to start a conversation.

                            Second, that's more serious: the first point is "you don't know how" to start a conversation; you can learn. The other point is simply you don't want to. We are becoming intolerant, and it's more appealing to keep things shallow or, if things heat up, your priority is to make sure that the other person hears loudly how you think, and not stating your arguments clearly and more importantly, being willing to listen, to disagree but understanding why people thinks that way.

                            I don't know how widely accepted is this view, but I think that people has two compartments in their brains, one for fundamental beliefs (religious convictions, political ideology, being a Bronco fan, etc.) and one for more rational judgments, with a broad area in between. I'm inclined to think that our fundamental beliefs compartment is getting bigger. This makes you less willing to really debate issues on the gray area (and just try to make your point by being louder), and also it causes self censorship, being overly cautious not to "offend" other people, and given that the line where you are "offending" someone is really fuzzy, you tend to stay on the safe side.

                            The banning of political and religious discussions is probably a good example of this. In the forums the mods enforce this, in our day to day life, we self censorship in these topics, or we end up having the type of arguments that led to the banning of this type of discussions.

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                            • #15
                              All the bad things that one can say in this thread...

                              Yeah, that's me.

                              I'm bad at conversation & very one-sided.

                              I try, though.
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