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I went to a Meetup group where people were focused on having meaningful conversations, to give thoughtful answers to questions posed. It made me think about how often we have this kind of interaction with others. What would it be like if we did this more often? How would that change our life experience?
To have this kind of conversation means we have to be vulnerable and open. It’s not possible to do it from a defended place. Being in that space immediately changes how we relate to others. It opens the possibility of really connecting. Not only do we learn about them but we also learn more about ourselves. We experience ourselves in a different way than when we are making small talk or speaking with people we would rather not be around or don’t feel safe with.
When we are open people respond to us differently. It builds trust and It allows them to open up as well. Openness comes from a place of strength, just as vulnerability does. People who feel fragile cannot allow either. And just because someone is not able to do that at this moment doesn’t mean they can’t learn at some later date if they desire it.
Honest conversation from that stance helps build bridges between people who believe differently. It helps each person to examine the other person’s ideas and find places where there is common ground. That can’t be done while holding onto and defending a position. It means for the moment, to let go of cherished beliefs and to truly hear what someone else says and means.
This is the place where critical thinking overrides blind commitment to a particular long held belief. It allows us to incorporate new ideas and expand the way we think about a given subject. This is how we grow in understanding of ourselves and the world.
When we are closed and defending a conviction we can’t learn anything different. But, when we allow ourselves to examine a different perspective on something we open our minds and our hearts to new perceptions.
This allows us to form deeper friendships because we are building bridges to others. Research has shown that people feel more and more isolated and alone even while working and living with others. Isolation comes when we wall ourselves off from deep connection with others. Many times, we wait for someone else to take the first step. What would happen if we took the initiative, If we were the one who opened the door to real conversation and connection? That would end our sense of isolation. Since waiting for someone else hasn’t produced the desired results maybe it’s time to try a new approach.
So, here’s the challenge. Try each day to be open with people you would like to connect with. Do it as an exercise without expecting anything to happen. I say that because we often do things to get a desired result which puts pressure on everyone. But when we do it because we know it will eventually produce the outcome we want and don’t insist it come from a particular person or instance possibilities open.
Guaranteed you will find some people who won’t respond but you will find others who will welcome the opportunity. So, do it without expectation and watch the magic happen.
Life is an adventure. Don’t miss out.
My best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach