Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Lost Art of Talking

Once upon a time in the days of old before computers and cell phones, people did a lot more talking - real communicative talking - than we do now.

If you were curious whether your neighbor had her baby yet, you had to walk over to her house and ask.  You had to talk to her.  If you were interested in a new job, you had to verbally ask the manager if there were any openings.  If you thought the boy in your third period class was cute, you couldn't end up at a dance with him unless you talked first.  

Now we just watch for a Facebook status update or a notification from LinkedIn, subscribe to a dating site, or better yet: Tindr.  

Several years back, teenagers started referring to the time between when you meet someone and when you start to call them your boyfriend/girlfriend as "talking."
He asked me for my number and now we're "talking."
We've been on a couple of dates, but we're not together; we're just "talking."

Talking got a bad rap because we overused and then misused it - like we do with most things, including the Internet. 

I'd like to give a set of witty examples of what couples who are pseudo-dating do, now that "talking" is sort of out, but I have no clue.  I graduated from "hook-ups" shortly after college and I have never considered love to be casual.  So I, like the 25-year-old grandma I am, still "talk" to guys.  I'd rather go out for coffee than to the movies.  I get why the "taking long walks on the beach" cliché exists.  My favorite part of my last first date was not the dope rap show or the fun time eating greasy breakfast food with friends. It was the hour we spent in the parking lot under the street lamp, just talking. 

Let's bring back talking, on all levels of human connection.  
  • Don't send your boss an email; go into her office and talk to her.  If you're really ambitious, take care of the work thing and then be genuinely interested in her as a person.  
  • That mom from your son's soccer team, invite her and her son for ice cream after the game. Talk to her.  She could be your new BFF.  
  • And best of all, that guy at church you think is so cute, DON'T ask for his number. And don't find a clever way to sneak him yours. You'll only end up texting.  Set up an event with friends - bowling, dinner, game night (I don't care how grown you think you are; those are fun!) - and invite him to the event so you can talk to him.  

Our relationships mirror our communication.  Dating is shallow because we didn't "talk" enough. Our friendships aren't deep enough to weather the storm because we never told her what she needed to know. 

Don't be scared to be honest. 

P.S. However much you talk, you need to listen twice as hard. 

P.P.S. This communication strategy works on your connection to God too.

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