“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
We’ve all had these conversations…
“Hi, great to see you!”
“Yea, you too… what have you been up to?”
“Oh, you know, just keeping busy. You?”
“Same, really busy, but that’s a good thing.”
“Great seeing you!”
“You too, we should get together sometime.”
“Yea, for sure! Have a great day.”
I certainly find value and reason for the less than deep conversations. I’d rather someone chit chat than stand silent and awkward and I truly feel the art of conversation is a difficult task to master. I envy those who posses the skill of gab, I can chat someone up, but it doesn’t mean I’m always completely comfortable or excited to have small talk. This ability to small talk is vital for networking and what makes one person’s chit chat superior to another’s is the ability to do it with genuine interest (even if that interest isn’t all that deep). I’m sure we’ve all talked to someone who looks above or beyond you as you talk because they are constantly looking for who else is walking in or who is more important. This behavior is one of my biggest pet peeves! Learning this skill is a huge key to developing professionally and personally… but more on that later!
Over the weekend I was blessed to experience the rare feeling of being surrounded by real conversation… some conversations were filled with words, some laughs, and some silence. They were real.
I was in the presence of a select few people who, when I am around them, I feel complete and completely comfortable. Comfortable enough to share any and everything… and comfortable enough to be silent. I’m still amazed by the three instances I felt this overwhelming sense… with my mom, my husband, and a fairly new friend.
Those of you who know me, know I have an incredible relationship with my mom. She is my ultimate supporter and I am her biggest fan. She knows what I’m thinking or feeling without me saying a word. She’s also the source of almost all my wisdom and is quoted here often!
My husband, has been so patient with me… he has allowed me to open up in my own time and provided the unwavering loyalty, trust and faith in me and our relationship that has provided the TRUE Strength to break down walls and protections.
The third is the muse for this post. A friend who I’ve only known for about a year is one of those treasured friends who without explanation I feel as if I’ve known her all my life. Her presence is uplifting and true. She is kind and gentle and strong all at the same time. When we talk… I know she hears me and I believe she feels the same when she speaks.
This friend is the kind who, with them, there are no filters, no boundaries – just REAL TALK. As we were talking… surrounded by about 20 other friends at a loud party, there was no fluff, no need for chit chat. One question opened the door for real, raw emotions and real talks. I know neither of us planned on sharing what we did; and I know, I would not change what we shared for the world. I don’t think we all get very many chances to have friendships like these… when you find them… hold on to them and treasure them. Show that person how much you appreciate and respect them.
A few lessons learned from this interaction:
- Trust your gut feeling about people… sometimes the feeling is a warning voice – listen! AND sometimes it’s a warm, familiar feeling – listen to that one too and embrace it
- True friends can fill your evening with conversation and complete silence… both just as rewarding and comfortable
- Real talks can happen every day… or once every few months… if you’ve connected with someone you don’t need to punch a time clock and log hours of conversation
- With real talks come real emotions… if you’re like me… that can mean tears… with no warning! THE TRICK… CLEAR YOUR THROAT!!! You physically cannot cry when you clear your throat… you’re welcome