I love to hold conversations, the exchange of ideas, the space for possibilities, to daydream in the company of others, even the terrain of facts (this is not my strongest area) which fulfilled completely my curiosity allow me to explore the views and perspectives of others, and sometimes even my own.

I have a wide and diverse range of topics which is full of questions and not too many answers. I enjoy the controversy because allows me to reason with others and not necessarily agree on anything. In short, I enjoy conversations.

In time, however, I have noticed that in certain occasions I am not open or available to hold conversations, and this is related to the following:

  • It is not the moment

  • It is not the context

  • It is not the person

  • I feel reluctant/scared/uncomfortable

  • I am not sure why

I will detail each one of them to explain myself better.

It is NOT the moment. This is related to nothing in particular. In some cases, I am in a hurry, or busy, or just distracted, and I decide that I do not want to be in the conversation at that moment.

It is NOT the context. For example, it is a noisy place, or it is dark, or it is cold, etc. on the other hand I don´t feel well, I am sad, or I am simply tired. These factors and others do not help to the flow of the conversation. Therefore, I decide that in that context I do not want to hold the conversation.

It is NOT the person. Those characters who insist in a particular subject that I do not want to get into, and push me in all directions in order to get me to say something. In that case, I decide that I will not hold a conversation with that person.

I feel reluctant/scared/uncomfortable. This begins in my body, I get uncomfortable, my views get narrowed and I get impatient. The subject doesn´t feel right to me, and without peace and serenity I cannot hold a conversation. I can scream, argue, cry, but not talk. Under these conditions my listening is not available, so I decide that I will not hold the conversation.

I am NOT sure why. This is a combination of all of the above, my body is uncomfortable, the person/s don´t feel right, there is not a context, and I consider that this is not the moment. Then, I decide that I don´t want to hold the conversation.

I highlighted NO and I decide in each of the previous paragraphs, because I believe it is important to take charge of these. It is I who decides that these are important factors to hold a conversation, others can consider other factors, but for a conversation to take place all of those involved in it have to agree to be in the conversation, and if this doesn´t happen, then the conversation is not possible.

I say this because I believe that it is up to each one of us to choose the conversations we want to be in, with whom we want to do it, in what contexts, and when.

Conversations are those moments in which we want to dive into subjects that resonate with us, or those which we are curious about, and there might be the possibility of the topic to be translated into understanding and learning. This is not just talking to say something, it is the exchange, the interaction, it is the gift that we give to each other.

To be fully conscious of the conversations we are entering in give us the opportunity to choose not only if we want to be there, but also the factors that influence how this interaction takes place.

I consider conversations to be relevant, I want to spend time and energy in it, I don´t want to talk to fill in the time, I don´t want to say things to be appropriate, or to seem important, I do not want to repeat somebody else´s argument to seem that I know something or that I am in agreeing with the topic.

I want to be able to say I don´t know in a protected and secure environment, I want to tell my stories where they are heard and the curiosity for them become the engine to keep the conversation going. I want to give myself time when I am talking with someone, and time is valuable to me.

Now a days, I hear a lot about holding conversations to solve, decide, act, understand, etc. I believe it is important and necessary, however, I also believe it is essential to consider how we want these conversations to happen, so there is an exchange of ideas, the foundations for new worlds, openness to possibilities, daydreaming with others, and thus be able to enter to concrete areas that help us to listen with openness and flexibility.

Let´s imagine if politicians talking to solve what the constituents elect them for, or bosses listening conscious of what the employees need, or employees considering like their own their bosses´ concerns.

In a more intimate environment, let´s imagine parents talking to their children and children talking to their parents, couples talking, listening and coordinating ideas and actions, family members telling personal experiences for the rest of the family, colleagues joining over the concern of one of them with full awareness and consideration. Just imagine, what would happen?

This is not about asking or demanding, offering or giving away, this is about opening a space in which we listen carefully and consciously, talk clearly and openly without fear to be judged or rated.

NOT to converse is a decision and do it also it is. Make an effort to hold the conversations you want to hold, with who you want to do it, in the contexts that are appropriate for you, and when the body is open and flexible to receive them.

You decide! I am doing my part.

© 2017 by Ivonne Garrido, Personal Coach, ACC.