It’s a shame that someone could go through life for over 50 years, and yet never really learn how to talk to a person. Yes, I mean parents are guilty of this. Pretty much we all are, but I think parents are the ones who need to learn it the most.
My complaint: the lecturing. When we were kids, lectures were necessary. But even then, we knew that there was something wrong with that format. It always put us off. It was completely one-sided and there was no concern for our defense. Lectures are probably the main reason why kids feel like their parents don’t understand them. Can you blame them? If they are never given a chance to defend themselves, how can they expect parents to understand what they are going through?
Perhaps even worse is when the lecturing continues past childhood. By the time one is a teen, he is supposed to be able to reason. This means teenagers should have the capacity to converse. This is even more true after they become adults. Why spend all that money for a child’s education if you don’t give them the chance to use it? When children become adults, lectures are evil!
One reason why lectures are wrong, is because it’s insulting. Parents cannot tell their kids to grow up while they are still young and then treat them like children when they grow up. Lectures are a thing of childhood because they were necessary then. But once that child has grown up, you can debate or have a good discussion.
I cannot tell what is the right way of talking about something. I’m still learning myself. I just know that our current method needs to be fixed and I do have some suggestions. First of all, lay off the interrogation questions. Forcing someone to speak by saying something like, “Tell me what’s going on,” is not okay. Sometimes it might be appropriate, but never for casual conversation. The question I really hate being asked is, “Where are you from?” If this comes from a stranger, I don’t want to tell him something personal. I especially don’t want the predictable follow up questions if you are not from around there. At that point, both are robots. The one being asked is repeating what he probably told over a hundred people. The Interrogator, which is very accurate a term, is asking the same questions, generally in the same order.
A proper conversation has it where facts are stated, but not necessarily asked for. This might seem non sequitor, but it’s true. The good conversations that get people talking are pointing out something and then talking about it. If you read articles online about talking to some cute girl in the store, they always say, “Look for something and make a comment about it.” Those simple phrases can be, “Man! This soup is good!” or even a question that doesn’t go personal like, “I’m curious about this soup, have you tried it?” These supposedly random topics can actually bring out personal details, but the other person is not going to feel uncomfortable, and that is perhaps the most important part of having a discussion.