Meaningful Conversation

What is one thing that inspires me? A meaningful conversation. This can be a deep level of conversation with a person I trust, baring up each other soul, thoughts, fears, weaknesses, supporting each other, comforting. It can also be a meaningful conversation between two people who barely knew each other but want to connect. I’ve had that experience quite recently actually, not face to face, but through chatting. Can a meaningful conversation even be done through chatting? Well, yes and no. I thought at some point the conversation was meaningful, but nothing beats a face to face conversation I think. Chatting has some downsides. What I would love to see is the facial expression of the person I am talking to when having a conversation. As a matter of fact, I believe facial expression is the key to having a meaningful conversation. Being denied facial expressions is like eating a plain ice cream without a topping, fried rice without any meat or vegetables, or bread without a filling inside or even butter.

So why does a meaningful conversation an inspiration for me? If I look back to all of meaningful conversations I’ve had with my friends (and therapist), they all have one thing in common. I learned something new in those conversations. Always! Never failed. Whether it was to learn another side of me that I didn’t realize before, or learn a new way of looking at life, but rest assure I always gained something powerful out of the interaction. Quite frequently too it wasn’t about learning something new, but realizing a flaw in me that I surprisingly already knew beforehand — just did not have the courage to acknowledge, nonetheless accept it. How did I come to the conclusion that I already knew it beforehand? Because it tasted familiar. Something that I have done before. A mistake that kept repeating itself.

Will all of these inspire me to change eventually? I can’t give an exact yes answer right away. This realization of a flaw or a mistake within us has a name in psychology — it’s called insight. An insight is a powerful realization; at times it marks the rolling of wheel that will hopefully bring change. The rolling of the wheel may not happen suddenly and right away too. But it IS a start, unless the person has a very strong mechanism to reject the insight. My hope is that even when change comes in a delayed mode, but with more and more meaningful conversations with the right person(s), change for the better will eventually happen. Let’s keep hoping for it. At least I sure do.

And as for chatting as a tool for meaningful conversation? While I believe it is not the most effective form of conversation, but with the far distance in between two people that are hunger for connection, it may as well be the easiest choice for the time being. The power of human-direct conversation and connection, more specifically face to face, still cannot be replaced by technology.


Originally published in January 2016 in my other blog.