I like talking and listening. Conversation is something that I can handle for a period of time provided that I receive good feedback, good company and interesting topics.
Then it’s on! I can be your best friend for 3 hours.
In Malaysia the conversation would start with food.
Have you eaten? Where? What did you eat? With whom? Was it nice? Were there a lot of people? You know where a good place where I can eat nasi lemak?
The rest would come naturally. Easy. Food talk is the easiest especially if you live near places that provide good street food. You might even find new good ones with that conversation. It’s a win-win situation.
In Europe, most conversation starts with the weather since it varies 30 times per day. It would help if you know a little bit of it, say watching the last 2 minutes of breaking news and note what the weather-girl was saying. Thunderstorm in the morning, mild drizzle in the evening and clear sky in the evening. If you know the prediction for the whole week, the better.
You can boast and compare it to last week’s weather. In conclusion, you can blame the Green House Effect and human ignorance. I, coming from industrial background and specializing in environment technology can really do a good job at it since this topic is like my monthly pop quiz. I can still write an essay about frozen nitrogen in North and South Pole and its effect with the global warming.
I can truly boast.
We can sit comfortably sipping coffee and do a conference.
In short, I enjoy good conversation with good people. Most of the time, I like my time well-spent.
But that doesn’t mean I always have good outcomes.
Sometimes I do encounter people that I wished I don’t start a decent conversation with. This people are difficult and conversation with them (though it took about 10 minutes of your time) will add years to you.
Goodness gracious, I just want to know you! Don’t make it as if I was trying to steal information from your precious head and use it against you.
There are people who doesn’t talk about their private life. Fine, I understand. But I don’t know anything about you. No family related theme, no relationship theme, no food stuffs, work related would be boring, sensitive issues, travel plans, weekend plans, nothing about your life. What else? Usually I can make differences work (differences are more interesting than things in common) and more intriguing but in the end I usually look more stupid than the first 10 minutes. But that’s not a good excuse to not try because I don’t know what else to ask.
Maybe I don’t understand that I should leave, that I am not needed, that people have things to do, that I talk stupid things.
I am such a pain sometimes.
I should concentrate on people who wants to talk, who really enjoy a good company and good conversation. I should feel better after each session because it should bring the best side of both companies, even if you’re not funny. It’s the curiosity that matters. Interest generates a good conversation and listening is vital. A good common sense would help too (Madrid is in India, right? I would kill people who confuses Madrid and Madras.) Be kind, because it says volumes about you. Not everyone is raised with the same value, belief and culture. Help them to understand. Bare in mind that many people are ignorant (notice that I didn’t put stupid) and it’s part of your responsible to introduce them to a little bit of this and that. Knowledge is power and you are a powerful being.
I would appreciate a challenging conversation that pushes me, that made me doesn’t regret reading Wall Street Journal or a paper (I usually hate reading paper. Too many bad news) or a boring article about how everything can lead to cancer. I also honor people who knows what they speak, be it something spiritual or concrete, history or potential economic reconstructing, past or present, future or just plain curiosities about life.
People who make me smarter by listening.
I think it’s important to understand a person by the way he/she talks and improves this theory as you move along. Take note if he limits his conversation to an ambiguous conversation (if one is in love with another person, not if a man loves a woman) then you can see that this person doesn’t think like other people (he might be gay or seriously realistic) and you can steer the conversation away from more speculations that might offend him. Recognize the norm and you’ll do just fine.
If you caught the other party lying (and he doesn’t realize it yet), it’s best to let him do the honor to wrap the fib up. I personally will not have many conversation with the same person. Men tend to do this, I don’t know why. The thing is they don’t remember what they said and it’s funny when they will try to convince you that it doesn’t matter.
I strongly believe that it takes both parties to tango. Don’t waste time (like me) to encourage an uninterested party to prolong a conversation, it does make you feel frustrated to a certain degree, you’re better off alone than feeling that you are such a stupid person all day.