Monday 22 October 2007

Levels of Conversation


My Significant Other (MSO) had four of her friends around a while ago. If I can remember correctly it was her birthday. Anyhow, as the only male around, my job was to be nice, make sure that the snacks were always above the half-full level, fetch and carry drinks, contain my irritation and desist from being rude regarding mobile phone use.
No possibility of disappearing to a male heaven, all part of a deal, that I will not go into.
I can do all of that.
Now, on a point of clarification, these 5, good friends for many years, had not been in one room, together, for a long, long time.
NEVER before have I witnessed five good friends holding six conversations, at once, and having a good time. There was a stage, and I had a double take to make sure I was not hallucinating; each person was talking about her own thing. From where I was standing, as an outsider, this was ridiculous. A gaggle of babbles. I made the mistake of “chipping in” and asking if any of them knew what was being said. Immediately there was a stunned silence, and then I was told in no uncertain terms that each one of them knew exactly what was being said by each person present. Somehow I believe them….
Reminds me of a wise man who classified conversations into three kinds. The first and lowest level of conversation is where people only talk about other people. For want of a better definition a “ gossiping orgy”.
The second level is a conversation where “happenings” are discussed. Example, what was on the news or in the papers.
The third level is where ideas are discussed.
Each conversation in reality can consist of all 3 levels, but the dominant level will give an indication as to the overall level of the discussion.
That Guru should have been present at this table.
Edit: 15 october 2008
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
Quote that I found today, attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

2 comments:

aksn1p3r said...

i like those conversations... typical yet proudly south african girl-talk is information... learn alot bout wat they like than asking them directly...

Anonymous said...

Is it not amazing, the speed and efficiency that females communicate with each other? Especially ones that already know each other? When I think of "levels of conversation" I think about what is being conveyed over the stated words, i.e. support, empathy, THAT's what they really get.

Josh (www.prosocializer.com)