Socializing. Conversation. Interaction.
Nothing seems to entirely freak me out more lately. The thing is that, what actually makes up a conversation? How do you make it? HOW DOES IT WORK? I’ve been contemplating the intricate weaving’s of it’s nature lately, what makes it function and how we perceive it. I guess it all starts with you; your interpersonal skills. But is that just it? Or is there a balance to what we’re actually saying. How do the words form in my brain and appear out of my mouth, in the right context and open enough to keep the conversation going?
There’s a lot of questions that I honestly don’t know the answer to, but I can only assume that one of the answers is simply, confidence. If you have a high level of self confidence it’s more likely that there isn’t anything going on in your brain to hold you back, in most occasions. It makes it easier for a person with a higher level of confidence to speak openly, and with ease to hold a conversation because well, it’s not really a big deal to them. However, with people like me, small talk and trying to hold a conversation is terrifying. I’ve had this thought lately that maybe I actually have absolutely no clue on what to say to a person when I see them. Whether it be a stranger OR a friend. It just kind of baffles me that it can be so simple to others but for me, on some occasions, it feels like a physical block that I can not push past when talking to people. It’s like there’s a brick wall in my brain, physically blocking my thoughts path to travel towards my mouth.
And the thing is that its a huge part of our daily life, and its so strange. If I am never able to master the etiquette of speaking, how will I interact with people for the rest of my life? It’s said that if you have a low self confidence that you only expect to be treated the way you feel, instead of the way you DESERVE to be treated and I feel like that relates to speaking. If you’re unable to hold the conversation and barely give anything for the other person to work with then you are going to end up at a dead end. The other person won’t be able to respond with more than 3 words. Or worse, only one. However if your more confident in what you’re saying and speak in full sentences, then it makes it so much easier for the other person to feel more comfortable and reciprocate. I think that’s why in some situations with people I do not know too well, or know but don’t “know”, it makes it easier for me to converse and interact as there’s someone else there to fall back on. There isn’t all this built up pressure in my mind. Which by the way is ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to feel afraid when talking to someone I don’t know. Thanks brain, you’re the best.
On the other hand, there was an article I read in my favourite magazine, Frankie, that has really stuck with me. It’s about the normality of silence and pauses in conversation. It talks about how sometimes we would rather try and babble our way through the silence instead of letting it just sit and settle like dust. It opened my eyes to the thought that maybe instead of letting myself spew out meaningless words to keep a conversation going, to instead realizing that sometimes only a few words are needed to really express how you feel. Sometimes it means more that you only say something once in a while that is meaningful, instead of endless sentences of jumbled words with no meaning at all. I think this is something we should all really consider. It seems the “awkward silence” is a dreaded part and huge component in why we are so scared of speaking up and talking to people; me included.
But somehow I wonder whether instead of fearing pauses, we should accept them. The world is so full of noise that sometimes we can get so wound up in the sound we lose the meaning of our silence. They’re natural. They give a person time to really reflect on what has been said and also time for a person to formulate a response that is truly full of purpose. I guess I need to learn how to put that silence into practice.
Stay Gracious x
P.S This post has been on my mind for a while. It was slightly/kind of loosely inspired, or evoked from a video by The School of Life called ‘Why Nice People Are Scary’. Have a watch!