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Changing Discussion Patterns

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by genuinemommy, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    How do you engage in a conversation?
    Do you listen first and then respond?
    Do you ever ask for clarification or offer additional insight without being asked?
    How do you respond when people laugh at your carefully thought-out responses?
    Do you approach conversations with others as an equal? Or perhaps it varies.

    Have you worked to change your habits - the pattern you follow for discussions?
    Today I learned that the way that I evaluate conversations and point out errors is toxic. It is a means of undermining that other person. To destabilize them and to reduce their credibility. That was certainly not my intention, but I see it now. And I can't un-see it.

    At this point I am processing this information and attempting to determine how I can begin to untangle these habits. This is a lot for me to take in. I am ultimately thankful that someone took time away from their day to point it out to me.

    I was going to write a blog post about this, but since it is relevant for philosophy and political discussions I decided to start a thread on the topic. I hope others will share their thoughts here.
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  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    I'm really a back & forth type of guy.
    But I expect the other person to leap in too. Not just wait for me to completely stop.
    To me, conversation is a banter...sharing amongst equal participants.

    Now, if someone is trying to make a point...or needs to clarify something. Kindly wait.
    But even then, a question may come up that you don't want to lose with flow of conversation. (sometimes it provides context...and often you can't go backwards in a discussion)

    Many I who know me, say I talk a lot...but I actually listen quite a bit. Especially is someone is very involved with a story or emotionally connected.
    I can't tell ya how many talks I have, where I'm sitting nodding, saying "yeah" and "uh-hunh" repeatedly. Even with a good friend.

    I always ask pointed and probing questions, if needed...how do you fill in the blanks otherwise...or get more context?

    People laugh at inappropriate times, quite often. That or they talk down, with skepticism or disdain.
    You just have to be confident and comfortable with your words.
    You also have value too...and remember people often try to tear down or suppress ideas that they don't understand or agree with. (almost instinctively)
    That or they have an agenda.

    And yes, I'm constantly tweaking, analyzing and adjusting my conversation patterns.
    I went from a young man with a stutter, high nasal voice, who couldn't go with the flow of conversation
    With constant practice, I don't stutter now...speak in lower clear tones (trying for a elite brit like) and listen for the flow of conversation. (even stop, if I'm not getting across or they lost interest)

    I've also gotten better at public speaking, speaking with authority, with authority figures/VIPs, politically, even knowing the audience and adjusting for that circumstance, mood and class level.

    Now, what I have to be careful of...is when I get really interested in a topic that I have lots of knowledge on, I can go on like a professor...just spouting on.
    It's instinctive for me...so I really have to make myself aware and check myself. See if I'm boring or overwhelming a person. It's actually quite a challenge.

    Another thing, I have to be wary of...is that I'm a big guy and my voice projects loudly easily...so I have to check my volume for the appropriate level.

    Still have tons of work, always trying to get better, still make mistakes...but I am proud at how far I've come. I wish I was a natural politician, but with work, it comes bit by bit.

    I don't think I criticize or talk down or zap people...but I am very analytical and empathetic, a detective
    ...and I don't think people appreciate deep insight comments on habits or character. (they like their secrets)
    So I have to check that, it's gotten me into trouble...or chases some away. (even SOs, IMHO...I could be wrong, it's a theory)

    Oh..and on here, on the board...I speechify. :eek::oops::rolleyes:
    (yes, I know ;))
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  3. fflowley

    fflowley Don't just do something, stand there!

    In personal settings I tend to be more of a listener.
    I like to learn new things.....and I like the maxim that “when you’re the one moving your mouth, you aren’t learning anything.”
    I’m also a bit introverted.....so having no conversation is fine with me too.
    But most people love to talk about themselves, and if they can keep it reasonable, and humble, I’ll gladly listen.
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  4. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    I didn't realize what it was that made me so socially um, for lack of a better word, graceless, until I was diagnosed with AD/HD in my 50s.
    Seems having a brain that runs at 90 miles an hour, often in the wrong direction isn't always built for great social discourse.
    I learned how to be socially acceptable.
    I had two very smart wives to train me that far.
    I could keep my mouth shut and put on a professional demeanor but it is so hard even with medication.

    Folks who know me can keep up okay and some don't even mind when I go dashing off after squirrels but I imagine it must be hard.
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  5. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    I admit I did want to walk away entirely from the conversation when the person was laughing at me. It doesn't feel good to be laughed at when I am trying really hard to make sense of conversations and communicate in the first place. It took me a while to realize that they were trying to help me and not just treating me like a joke.
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  6. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & be quiet.

    Large City, TX
    I don't get out often enough, meaning my life is a yawner. Which I recognize and therefore ask a lot of questions rather than talk about myself.

    In a conversation where I actually have something to say, I try to balance my input with what others have to say. Since most of my conversations tend to be personal, in the sense they are not profession or business related, I find people like to be listened to, actually heard.

    Oh, yeah, how have y'all been doing?
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  7. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    I listen and ask for clarity if someone is sort of missing their own point weather they realize it or not.
    Some people aren't very articulate or don't really understand what they're talking about so without making them seem dumb I try to tease out more info and fit their puzzle together if I can.
    I pause often to think up the best words for my points, and to make a joke that won't piss them off, maybe because the joke shows how I made the same mistake that showed me the solution.

    I asked my cousin in law while walking out of Xmas church event if he believed in God and he adamantly said "I believe in facts."
    He's a Trumper anti vaxer...

    So, I should have replied, you don't believe in facts...they just are what they are, like rocks.
    You can know facts or learn of them but a fact dosn't need your belief to exist. It exists regardless of your acknowledgement.

    But God can't be fully known by a mortal human because God is supposedly an all powerful being in the either and requires belief to exist. If nobody believed in God, that being wouldn't exist. There's no evidence of a god to point to as factual so your left with faith alone. In fact the texts of gods requires your faith/belief so it seems that God exists on faith alone.
    It's sort of like election fraud, if you can't show evidence all you have is faith and that's not enough in a court.
    But I knew that line of talk wouldn't go anywhere so...ehh whatever. In the end I don't know what he believes. He's not articulate enough to talk to.
    Which also reminds me that if you can't articulate verbally then how can you even think clearly in your own mind ?

    I know I'm not successful in all my thinking or articulation of my thoughts though.

    When I talk with ppl I know I flip them shit and also make fun of myself too. I always try to bring in humor and get a laugh because it's fun and ppl like to laugh and remember funny conversation.

    Those are either work settings or forced social family settings.
    In other social settings I'm mostly a wallflower till someone speaks to me first. But I guess, still I'm pretty free with my thoughts when someone starts a conversation.

    There's a couple people who don't really appreciate my talk but frankly they are too dumb for me to care. My boss and co worker often ask me questions about building, engineering and aesthetics so I assume that's good and they respect me. They like that I make them laugh too.
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  8. Lindy

    Lindy Moderator Staff Member

    I have finally concluded that arguing or trying to discuss the 'facts' with Trumpists and Evangelicals is kind of like the old saw about trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig.;)

    Not that those folks are pigs, although some certainly are, but that they believe what they believe as unassailable articles of faith, not as facts.
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  9. boink

    boink Slightly Tilted

    @Lindy true enough...
    I'm trying to figure out how to talk with my boss about vaccines. He believes pro sports players and kids are "dropping like flys"
    I ask where he reads this and he doesn't know, links from his gf I think.
    He won't believe cnn or MSNBC which I don't get because they do generally talk the same line as other established news sites with the daily events.
    His gf is stuck at home working remotely and reading net garbage.
    So after grazing the subject briefly we let it go.
    I just don't want him getting sick. The rest of the shop is vaxed.
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  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Actually, when this crud just started...I was called a Conspiracy Theorist by my boss.
    and many called me many other names.

    I found out it was coming from a coworker who has family in Wuhan. (of course, China was covering it up or minimizing it)
    That was in mid-Jan 2019...before it was acknowledged in the US or even Europe.
    And I still had connections in the federal government that confirmed it. (secretly and under the table, of course)

    I felt like the boy who cried wolf. (except there really WAS a "wolf")
    I felt like I was trying to help people...save lives and from harm.

    Now I just nod my head and keep my mouth shut.
    Or just correct with the facts and ignore them if they ignore me.

    Can't help them anymore. I can only help myself.
    If they don't know by now...there's nothing I can do.

    But I also ignore those who go overkill or get up on a pedestal. (like they're grammar police)
    There's a balance.
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  11. pig

    pig Slightly Tilted Donor

    hey girly

    one thing i want to mention, as it popped into my head when i read this, is something someone brought to my attention at some point in the past:

    you have specialized training which has been reinforced over years to strip down arguments, find their weaknesses, and think of how to exploit them or improve them. i know that i've had times when i've not been great about turning off that mentality in non-academic conversations. at times, it has made others feel the way you're describing.

    i still do it today - especially when i am engaged in mentality of fear and defensiveness. i can be brutal.

    i do think i'm better at it than i once was - but i don't think i'll ever completely shake it - it's part of how i became "pig" long before tfp...

    edit: changed "wrote" to "read" in the opening sentence of my post.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2021
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  12. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, yes. That's a very good point. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
  13. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah. There's only so much I can do to argue with ignorance. It's not my job to make up for decades of education that they somehow slept through.
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