Are You a Good Conversationalist on All Age Levels?
February 13, 2007 7:26pm CST
How do you choose with whom you converse? Do you restrict conversations to certain age levels, intellectual levelas or a combination of both?. I am in the upper level of age but I still love talking to young people. For example, I have lunch almost every day with a 14 year old....he's the son of the restaurant owner and we almost always share a table. While we mostly talk about football/socder (he's a goalkeeper) we sometimes have other conversations either started by him or by me. He's doesn't ask for advice but likes to see my point of view of different things. Sometimes he may make a statement which to me seems farfetched and we go from there. He is always attentive but sometimes tells me that it might have been ok when I was young but it doesn't work today. I am an inquisitive person. I love to ask questions to which I do not have an answer. Doesn't matter what the subject matter is....I can always come up with a question. I try not to impose myself upon listeners as someone who knows everything. I like to put the other person in the spotlight (or on the spot) in order that both of us can learn something. I hate party chit chat. When I'm talking with someone, I don't want to hear about their husband, children or grandchildren only. Here in Portugal I choose topics such as politics, football (of course), history and culture. I have so much to learn about the country even though I have lived here for almost 30 years. Even the young people can help me in my plight. I love to talk but when I am asking the questions I prefer to listen, especially if it is with someone who knows what they are talking about no matter how old they are.
16 Feb 07
One thing I find is that we can all learn something from everyone that we talk to - even if the thing we learn is to avoid that person as much as possible, because they are just plain boring or their conversation has no interest whatsoever for me. :) I do talk to a wide variety of people, because that is how I was bought up plus most of them will have a different opinion to me, or bring new perspective into something that I thought I knew about. I also like to listen to people, and particularly the young as they are often so excited about something that it just bursts out of them. Also many children are very intuitive, see things very clearly in black and white, and although they can be brutally honest all they are really doing is telling how they see things. As adults we do seem to lose being able to see things through the eyes of a child. It is okay to hear that all the family are fine and that little Johnny won the egg & spoon race but I do not need a blow by blow description either. Generally if we are out somewhere at a social event and I don't know many people, I will look around for someone who is by themself. Venture up to them and make a few comments and we can take it from there. Those make the best conversations I often find, because the person who is standing by themself is often shy. So when someone comes up and makes some rather bland comment, they are often more than happy to talk about anything at all, but being shy it is rarely about themselves. Now these can be very interesting conversations and in fact it was simply through doing this about 20 years ago that I first met a woman who has since become a very close friend. :) The day we cannot learn anything at all should also be the day that we die.
14 Feb 07
I love talking to people from all walks of life and different ages. I learn so much and like you I always ask alot of questions. I work with 3-5 year olds and they are great to converse with. I have such a laugh with them. Also, I can be on the same wavelength as my daughters late teenager mates as I do not patronise but respect their views. Older people than myself I have great respect for as they can pass down their wisdom which I am eager to know. I am studying language at the moment and it is sad that 1 in 10 children today have language difficulties due to the fact that they do not have the oppotunities to have conversations and socially interact with adults and their peers. Different generations should definately converse more!!!
14 Feb 07
You are so right. Every generation has a different outlook on life. While we may not agree on all the issues before we pass judgement we have to know what they are talking about. Another viewpoint always adds to wisdom whether you agree with it or not. I find precose children fascinating. They seem to be so intelligent beyond their years. If you want to have some fun read Art Linkletter's books on "Kids Say that Darndest Things"....it is an education beyond your imagination believe me.
• United States
16 Feb 07
No wonder I like you so much...LOL. I love having conversations with people from all age groups and all walks of life. You can always learn something from anyone, whether you have the same views or not. I work with younger people (my kids' ages or younger), and they love to ask my opinion about things. I guess they figure I've been around long enough to give them an intelligent answer, even if they don't agree with it. I also ask their opinions about things going on in the world and get their take on things. It's interesting, to say the least. All the kids in my family were raised around older adults and always feel comfortable talking to an adult. It's weird when I find a kid who absolutely will NOT have a decent conversation with an adult...won't even try. I feel sorry for them. They are missing out on so much. It's the same for adults that won't have a conversation with a child. It works both ways. We can all learn something from each other, no matter what our age.
16 Feb 07
Very nicely put....great minds run in the same gutter..hehehe. It's funny how so many adults don't give kids a chance....most grownups seem to think that kids aren't equipped to understand adults. While I don't have children of my own, I used to talk to the kids of my colleagues...those of one couple in particular in Mexico. Both of them talked to their children in an intelligent manner and never hemmed or hawed about the subject matter. The birds and bees were told outright and sometimes even pictures and drawings were used to illustrate the process. This was my beginning of understanding about talking to kids as peers rather than beat around the bush. Of course, I should imagine it would be easier for parents to explain things rather than a friend of the family which is why I never go into details about the birds and bees as I never know what the parents have said. How many times did I hear from my mother....."little children should be seen and not heard". Of course that was when Methusala was a child it was so long ago. Times have changed and so have children. I believe adults should not shun talking to them as perhaps it might make them reluctant to converse at all with adults. Thanks so much for your input...always nice to see you.
14 Feb 07
I talk frankly and one word is enough for me. I am lazy in Talking to each otherespecially nonsense topics. I only enjoy talking to a person whose topics are resourceful. I am not saying to dull person or less educated person, there are some less intelligent person talk meaningful and disciplinary.
14 Feb 07
I see where you are coming from. We are many times caught up in conversations that seem to be meaningless in context but every once in awhile a gem will appear that will make the conversation worthy. I have found that on all levels of education and intellect there is always something to be learned as long as the talker makesa long story short and doesn't drag on and on.