We all want attention. We all want affection. We all want to express ourselves, to be heard, to be listened to, and to be remembered. We all want to be loved, desired, and cherished, whether as friends, confidants, lovers, as business associates, or as a family member. To accomplish this, we must, somehow, set ourselves apart. We must be extraordinary. And, for most, this does not come naturally.
One way to set ourselves apart, to become valued in whatever role we wish to serve, to be extraordinary, is to be an excellent conversationalist. Think about it; you remember and think very strongly, in one way or another, about people who express themselves uniquely, differently from most. Am I right? Well, to express ourselves, uniquely, to encourage an engaging and memorable conversation is a skill that most lack. I’m serious. Whether because we’ve become a spectator society, spending hours and hours and hours in front of television, even in the company of others, and never really “having” to converse, or because of the fact that, contemporarily, most lengthy, ongoing, conversations are conducted via text or through social media, and, now, even rarely by telephone, we have forgotten how to speak! This is what most conversations sound like these days:
#1 Hey! How are you? (with a whole bunch of enthusiasm)
#2 a) fine b) crappy, and you?
#1 a) fine b) crappy … awkward pause
#2 How about that (name current weather condition)
#1 Yah … awkward pause … and those (name local sports team)
#2 Oh, yah.
Both parties look for some sort of common ground and manage a conversation, or, better yet, a distraction (a TV on, for example), and fall into a congenial silence.
Not so engaging, not so memorable, especially since this is basically the same conversation we have with every person we encounter, whether they are new acquaintances or familiars. Sad. We’re just sayin’ the same things over and over gain. How exciting is that?
How many of us actually text more effectively than we speak? Blogging, for me, is one way I can captivate the attention of an audience for a long enough period of time to complete a thought. And those who read blogs, mine in particular, are unique in their ability to focus for 2,000 words! I love my readers for that!
For the rest of us, though, when face to face with someone, what to do? Think back to the last truly memorable conversation you had with someone; I’m going to guess that you spoke of a unique, interesting and memorable topic, if not a topic you were both already truly passionate about (food, beer, wine, cars, art, sex, fishing, knitting, South Park reruns, etc). So, to have really extraordinary conversations, we just need good topic fodder!
I am going to help you out, today, and on an ongoing basis, though I will not commit to any sort of frequency. Every now and then, I am going to publish a great topic of conversation and you can experiment with it, or just laugh at it, or comment on it, or ignore it. I don’t care. But, this is a public service I am capable of providing, and, so, shall. Every now and then. Thank me now, or thank me later, or thank me profusely, over and over and over again!
Here is your first topic;
Bananas. People feel very, very strongly about the ripeness of bananas. For example, I like mine green at the ends, no brown spots, but not so green they are crunchy and pure starch. Ripe bananas are too sweet and too mushy and make me want to gag. How do you like your bananas? Go …
So, you can answer me, for practice, in a comment, or you can try this topic out on people you encounter and see how it goes! I can’t wait to hear back from y’all!
Thank me know, or thank me later, or thank me profusely, over and over and over again!
Future topics will be under the category “topic fodder” and will hashtagged as follows: