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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, & don't criticize.

    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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