Are you sick of making small talk? Feel like being asked “how are you?” can be hollow?
I’m craving deep conversations that build a connection. And I feel like I’m not the only one.
Sometimes I’ll say hi and greet people, sidestepping their “hi, how are you?” combo. Because it often doesn’t feel like they want the real answer. I’m not always good. And doesn’t everyone know that ‘fine’ is code for struggling along?
When some friends genuinely ask I will answer. I’ll take the time to pause and check in with myself first, before answering them. Giving an honest answer helps me to connect and be supported by them.
I had a lovely conversation with a workmate at lunch today. With birthdays in the office being celebrated conversation ended up at where we would like our lives to be at 75 years old. A topic that got us thinking ahead in our lives and what we dream of creating.
If random tangents of conversation like this happen to you I encourage you to go with it. Not only will you learn more about them you’ll learn more about yourself too! Lean in and see what first comes to mind.
I dream of having the time to look after my grandchildren, balanced with having my own life too. My business would’ve taken off on it’s own and I will have mostly stepped back, being involved in some small ways. I’ll have a fabulous garden that I’ll get to spend time in and travel regularly with my husband.
Part of having more interesting conversations comes from asking interesting and different questions.
I’m still in the early stages of putting this into practice and would probably recommend doing this in person initially.
A few weeks ago early stages dating a guy and I asked him “How was your day? What was your second favourite thing?” – it did not go down well. Our communication was compared with North and South Korea. Suffice to say we did not go on a second date!
The idea with this question is it gets you thinking, it’s not an automatic response.
At a potluck with friends recently “what’s new with you?” was a great way for each of us to have space to share what’s been going on.
And space is SO important. If people are having a shit day sometimes it’s just being a friend that shares/halves the problem just by listening. Not everyone needs advice on how to solve it. Sometimes you’ll find creating that space the person realises the solution that works best for them anyway!
I know I can be protective of myself, not wanting to get hurt so I don’t let others in very quickly.
Maybe you’re the same? Or you’re not sure what to say?
Here are some different questions to try…
- What’s your second best highlight of the weekend?
- What’s your win of the week?
- What are you most excited about working on?
What else do you suggest?