Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Do I Have More to Say To Some People Than To Others?

Have you noticed how with some people you can talk and talk?  They talk, you talk, they add something, you seque onto another topic.  You laugh, they laugh, and with them you are funnier, smarter, deeper, and more interesting.  In fact they build on your joke and reincorporate it into other jokes until it's unrecognizable to anyone else as a joke -- but the two of you can't stop laughing.  Life is good.  The time is up and you are still talking and hope to see each other again soon.

Then there are others.  And you want to get closer, but they talk, you talk, and then maybe there's nothing more to say.  You laugh, they laugh, and then there's nothing more to laugh at.  The joke doesn't grow into a private joke.  Everyone gets it.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon -- shared history, the intelligence of the speakers, your respective knowledge and interests, their love for you, your love for them, sufficient time for conversation and giggling, and a motivation to be in the conversation.  And yet with some people all those things might exist and the conversation still seems to falter and stumble into the weather, dinner, health, concrete problems with and without solutions.  What's with that?

I've come to believe that the quality of each party's listening is the determining factor in whether we have more or less to say to one another.  Can this magical listening be taught?  Is it a question of different minds organizing themselves differently or is it an inate capacity of some minds -- to ask the next question, to care about the answer?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Lil for sharing this magical thought. I was telling others at my work about a similar observation about how we interpret everything in a positive way (even negative actions/words) when the source is someone whom we trust and vise versa. I guess that we pay more attention/connect with those whom we trust, care more and naturally LISTEN to more. Trust might come based on many factors and some of them you are already mentioned...the one that I like is people want to know that you care before openning their heart & mind to you.