I’ve had enough small talk to last a lifetime. If your life is full of small talk – or just conversations that leave you rolling your eyes – I feel for you! It really makes me appreciate the depth, openness and authenticity present today.
It wasn’t always like this. I used to work pretty boring, repetitive jobs that were full of pointless conversations. Here’s a sample conversation we’d have:
Random stranger to me: Hello, how are you?
Me: Pretty good, how are you doing!?
Random stranger: Doing good today, weathers nice out! Traffic is crazy as usual.
What a perfect setup for a conversation that will go nowhere!
In my head I’d be thinkin…Mufucka – who gives a damn about the weather? Traffic wtf? WE COULD DIE TOMORROW AND HERE YOU ARE..YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT SOME COT DAMN TRAFFIC?!!
Back then, I was pretty fake too. You see in the conversation above, I asked how this stranger was doing, but I didn’t genuinely care. It was just another an automatic response in a sea of automatic responses we called a job.
Saying the things I was really thinking would have probably cost me the job. Looking back, I guess I didn’t see all the other options I had. I wouldn’t have ever worked in a place that required me to sacrifice that much of myself.
Truth is, that we didn’t have time for much depth. This might be an elevator conversation, and we’ve both got to get to work in different departments, so the situation would often dictate the depth.
How to Have Real Conversations
I went to Conscious Life Workshop held by Steve Pavlina in October 2016 and this is where I first got a glimpse into real conversations. It was where I really saw the problem with my conversations before. The problem necessarily wasn’t with my conversations – it was with the people I was having real conversations with.
If you aren’t have as many real conversations as you’d like, how would people respond to you being more real? Would they be shocked? Would they be indifferent? Would they look at you like you’re crazy? Would they judge you? Do you have an idea of how they would react? Even if they’re family and friends, there is a real possibility they might not be the best fit for ya. What if you actually sought out people that were more aligned with the real you?
I’ve accepted some people just aren’t aligned with me being the real me. Do they like spanking? Are they into personal development? Are they into passive income? Are the into aligning with a path with heart? Do they sense that boring jobs aren’t the best way for them to generate income? Do they experiment? Do they spend a lot of time around tech? Have they had an addiction? Have they sought recovery for this addiction? Do they prioritize doing badass shit? Do they exercise their creativity? Do they still prioritize learning? Do they listen to audiobooks? Do they like playing an instrument? Do they like singing? If not – they probably aren’t aligned with my real conversations, so it’s in my best interest to find people that are into those things. The more the better! That way I can have genuine conversations. I can let my guard down. I can be vulnerable and share my shames, weird quirks and vulnerability and feel like it’s a safe place with others who are doing the same. I can be myself and things just flow. The more you express the real you, the more those people will find you! Imagine having lots of real conversations with lots of real people! Like attracts like!
I’ve tried to have real conversations with the people that didn’t align with me – for a long time. Family, friends, coworkers you name it. This is why it was such a contrast when I found way more aligned people for me. I’ve also learned to not be attached to how the real conversations show up. They might be with someone from another part of the world!
When I express my own vulnerabilities, strengths, weaknesses, talents, weird quirks, dark sides…when I express more of me it seems to give others permission to share more of themselves with me.
Is there an area of your life where you’d like to have more real conversations? Demand more authenticity in your life while expressing your own. Explore your own interests and curiosities socially, so you’ll get to talk to like-minded people. I think you’ll like what reality brings you!