Sunday 18 July 2010

Let's talk: No cliches please

After writing Dream-Stealer, reading the comments spurred on thoughts on usual things about many topics but what stood out of the thoughts was CONVERSATION. The dream-stealer loved conversations and so did the women in Nevine's Lady Grey with a Lemon Twist. The dream-stealer always wanted to enliven her conversations and so stole dreams but not everyone is as innovative but everyone does try what comes best to them.

Many self-help books advise: "Appear to be genuinely interested in the other person. Listen." So much importance is been given to something which has been there for quite some time now. Along with the importance of conversation, there is also something else that tags along: The need to be in the driver's seat. Topics are being scouted (Now I begin to think whether my blog posts also try to do that. Well . . .).

What goes into a conversation. Knowledge? Wit? Humour? What? Do we actually think before striking a conversation. Some weeks ago I posted a status in my Facebook which said: "Susan yearns for a soulful conversation . . ." but alas! not many chose to reply except for one sympathetic being. Maybe I was asking for too much.

Now what does the adjective 'soulful' have to do in a simple conversation? Maybe it's just a genuine interest in making conversation for the sake of it with no frills attached. No intention of winning the woman/man, not to create impressions and please, not to show-off.

Does 'true' conversation exist only with friends? Or does it also become something of a facade like the women in Nevine's Lady Grey with a Lemon Twist. Sometimes I've had the best conversations with random strangers in buses/trains or in a queue where we were waiting. We didn't try to make conversation because it was the 'done' thing or because we wanted to impress each other. We just conversed as we wanted to talk. Simple.

Maybe I should pause now. I can go on and on. Can I hope for completely banning plastic conversations like plastic smiles.

Image courtesy: Internet


  1. i think in order to have a conversation you must have two people that are genuinely is a two way street, both give and take, to share and to listen...i think many of the other elements you list add spice and flavor...and what is soulful to you may not seem like it to another...

  2. But don't you think that soulfulness is a factor that leads to genuine conversation, Brian?

  3. I'm not on Facebook, but as far as I know, most people on a Facebook page are friends, so shouldn't that fact help conversation, make it soulful or whatever you wish?

    Anyway, conversation is considered something of an art - 'the art of conversation' is a well known phrase.

  4. I'm not on FaceBook, Twitter or whatever the current fashion is, I Blog, and I have made many good friend from all over the world by blogging and keeping in touch by e-mail. "Soulful" to me seems such a sad word, as in "The dog had soulful eyes, so I couldn't leave him in the Rescue Centre". But that is just my opinion, and sometimes words have different meaning to different people.
    Knowing people with "plastic smiles" are not true friend, and sometimes that plastic smile slips, and the real person shows themselves, sometimes we just don't like what we find there.
    Other times people put on a plastic smile to hide what they are really feeling, so it is used as a disguise.

  5. Conversations: Aren't there differing Formats?

    1. Job Interview
    2. She-He type in a dark airport bar
    3. Stranger (still maybe guarded?)
    4. Family
    5. Business
    6. Tour Guide
    7. Heavily breathing
    8. Breathless
    9. Friends over back fence
    11.I want-You want--compromise
    12.Political ("Shhhhhhhhhhhh")
    13.Share points of view

    Sure, some of these are plastics, but how ya gonna eliminate? Do not ask ME to stop--grin!

    LOVE your stuff Susan--Love YOU! We have good time here LOL.

  6. Oh Susan...per earlier comment of yours on "Veroni" (almost looks like Veronica--I don't THINK so...--grin!)

    I just could not believe anyone would comment on that shortie, so made my own comment, that's all. A bit of false humility there...Verstehen Sie?

  7. Now see, I get what you are saying or at least asking for. I do like the break down of the different kinds of conversation one could have and agree there are many different levels. But I might say that soulful to me, means, "deep", and it takes a special friend or family member to know how to talk and listen and offer that type of moment. Not too many people at least on the surface are open for that kind of engaged interaction. Because that would mean that they would need to be prepared to be as soulful with you. And sometimes our egos and insecurities get in the way of that. Too bad though, hmm??

    Have a wonderful day.


  8. yes pls ban plastic conversations too, u have my complete support!

  9. More than 90% of our conversations are pointless. It's quite sad, actually. But we indulge in these, anyway. Knowingly or unknowingly.

  10. People are often too afraid to have "soulful" conversations these days due to the risk of possibly offending someone. With that said, some of my very best conversations have occurred with an old friend of mine I have reconnected with on FB. He is now a protestant minister, left leaning and I am a Catholic who tends to be conservative in nature. Both of our eyes have been opened to the misconceptions of each other's faith and politics. I have found that both fascinating and fulfilling. Good topic!

  11. Thank you for tickling my brain cells this morning dear friend.;)
    I think conversations are like our taste in almost anything else; they wary. I have been known to strike a polite but unsubstantial conversation at a party with people I would never talk to otherwise. I had also conversed briefly and superficially when forced to be around people I do not choose to or really like. But I have also been in company of people when the conversation have not just educated me but also left me empowered and made me feel invigorated and renewed. Or relaxed me and brought tranquility to my being.
    Striking a conversation is I guess a bit like opening a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get. And therein lies the allure.;)
    Have a great Sunday dear Susan,

  12. DUTA:

    I am glad you aren't there on Facebook. And not all are friends there. Conversation is a forgotten art, if I may say.


    "Soulful" is a deep words which expresses genuine feeling, I reckon. Whatever said and done, plastic is toxic after a point.

  13. Stevie:

    Your comments always make me smile and grin!!! Steve, I was thinking about conversation between two people who know each other and are happy to meet and talk. These days plasticity has made its appearance everywhere and even conversations are not spared.

    Love you back dear Steve and BIG hugs. Feel at home here.


    Long time and how glad I am to see you here. Smiles. You said it right, not many are open for the kind of conversation I am talking about. I guess the intervention of technology has contributed to this in fragments.

  14. Yuvika:

    Thanks for the solidarity. Much appreciated, you know. Hope your Sunday is coming well :)


    Hmmm. Instead of 'pointless,' I would prefer 'artificial.' What say? We indulge in them because we as humans need to talk and express. I guess we are conditioned like that.

  15. Polly:

    Afraid, unwilling and paranoid. But what is surprising is sometimes we find conversations in the most unlikely places. That makes me think that 'good' conversations is not completely an archaic thing of the past.


    I like the image of 'box of chocolates.' You never know what you are going to get. Forrest Gump is one of my favourite movies.

    Joy always dear Zuzana.

  16. I find myself in no need to talk anymore, and I feel better ;)but I'll smile, that I can still do

  17. Lorraine:

    I wonder why you say that. I of course believe that smile says it all but still.

  18. Dear Susan, dear Susan! I do love to talk with just about anyone. I think some of the best conversations we can ever have are those that are unexpected... sometimes with strangers... always unplanned. Sometimes, when we plan out what we're going to say, the truth disappears from it and we're left like actors reciting lines.

    I think it's always important to try and connect with people on various levels... because somewhere out there might be a person who will be a genuine friend and not wear that plastic smile. I also think that very early in life we learn to recognize the smiles that go all the way to the eyes... and those that don't quite make it there... and from those, we shy.

    People are complex beings, but there are endless possibilities to explore with them. We can try and if it works, then great! And if not, then we move on and find our happiness somewhere else. As Dante said, friends are voluntary relationships. But when we are friends with someone, we should be true.

    A lovely topic for wonderful conversation, Susan. And a perfect way to begin my Sunday. Thanks for the honorable mention. ;-)


  19. Nevine:

    Ah! Even I love to talk with just about anyone and perhaps that prompted this post. I so like what Dante said and what he said is true. I am glad that you liked the 'conversation.'
    Joy always dear Nevine :)

  20. Yes. But what point does artificiality have?
    After all this, I still can't stop talking. :S LOL.

  21. Mridula:

    Sometimes one just cannot explain everything in black and white: One cannot just shut up like a clam. Conversation is essential and if we are choosing to make it, let it be genuine.

    And Mridula, please go on in this place. We all love conversations across ether :)

    Have a good week ahead.

  22. I completely agree with you Susan :)

    Yes. I don't think I will stop.

  23. I think Mr. Miller had a good point. The most irritating conversations to me are when the person I am engaged with it so self absorbed. "It is all about them." I guess this shows my own self absorption.

  24. GQ:

    Quite right and that's what I have been trying to say. TWO Genuine PEOPLE make it all :)

  25. hummm It's not a good idea to come late here and read the other people's comments and your answers to them... Or maybe it IS!

    so I'll take advantage of it. As I see it there have been quite a few soulful conversations going on here. But of course when we do not see the others' eyes (though we might imagine them), when there is no eye contact, that's so important, and being able to touch and share the laughter and laugh at the same things even without needing to mention it beforehand... because there is real interaction. That only happens between really good friends, especially from the same sex. That's why/how I (mis)understood Nevine's 'Lady Grey'...

    The plastic thing happens when you talk because you have to answer, when you teach and know your students are not getting what you try to implement...When you try to chat up, when you need to be polite because we cannot go about being unpleasant... etc

    Hey, I've said it... and I know you'll say that was not the point... But we are here to meander and reflect with you. Aren't we?

    PS > and this has come from my soul!

  26. INDI: 90%????? OMG, I can just QUIT, and the world will be a cleaner, safer place...but so (Shhhhh) quiet.In place where I go every day, so many say nothing, and someone has to "take up the slack".

    Bottom line (No, not THAT bottom!) is
    I will join you and keep on talking, "come hell or high water"--another useless cliche!

  27. I am all for banning plastic conversations, if only because there is no genuine interest. A conversation between two people liking each other shouldn't be difficult and most often is soulful. With strangers wit is extremely important even if knowledge is found lacking.
    I have a feeling that were we two to ever meet, our conversation would go far into the night.
    Hugs and love and best wishes for a wonderful week!

  28. Dulce:

    There's nothing like late or early. We love conversations and when you come in, we shall be all ears to listen to you. I'm glad you came, dearest! Ah yes, we are all meandering and reflecting and the journey has been worthwhile, isn't it?

    Joy always to you and a fine week ahead :)

  29. Steve:

    You have a way with self-humour and can always laugh and make others laugh and that's what makes you adorable and sweet :)The 'bottom' had me in splits. How do you remain sober with such humour within you. Must be a delight to 'real' people around :)


    Thanks for coming by and lighting me up with those wonderful words. Angie, sometimes silence is much better I think even between two people who genuinely like each other.
    Oh, yes absolutely, we would be on and on about an assortment of things. I so wish we could meet sometime. If the Universe wills, we shall. Until then, happiness and joy always to you and your family :)

  30. If you are up for starting a campaign against plastic conversations, I would be the first one standing in support of you! Or even I can start a campaign, if you promise to raise and match the voice! lol

    A nice post and yep you have an impressive writing skills, the content comes out from the heart!

  31. Karan:

    Welcome and thanks for the solidarity. Campaign!!! Hmmm.

    Thanks for the kind words and following. Hope not to disappoint you.


  32. greetings from across the way, dear susan! it's so wonderful to be back visiting again - have missed you very much and am so grateful for your faithful friendship!

    and what a thought-provoking, conversation-inspiring post and comments - you know, my own thoughts are that we each have our own differing ideas of what makes a conversation - especially a "soulful" one - as well as differing needs/desires at the moment in terms of engaging in a particular kind of conversation - does that make sense? hope so - a great post, susan! and thanks again!!!

  33. It is definitely wonderful to have you dear Jenean. Been long, isn't it?

    As always I enjoy reading your comments and thoughts. Thanks for taking the time.

    Joy always :)

  34. Susan, I’m finally here to read your meanderings. Personally your blog is like a mirror to me and I missed this mirror a lot. Do you know that most of the meanderings you share here are in fact the exact inner thoughts of me and I enjoy the special feeling I get by reading it as it is always special to know that someone else is there who also thinks the same way in such particular situations. Keep up the good work and keep spreading happiness in others’ lives.
    At this moment about this particular post (still have to go through the missing links), First I would like to say that you are soo unlucky that I’m not on Facebook. ;) Otherwise you would not have felt the need to think of writing this post :P On a different note, is it really possible to ban the plastic smiles??? Is it right ??? Even though personally I don’t like plastic smiles, I feel sometimes it is necessary to have plastic smile instead of a serious, angry or hateful look(both on face and in conversation). Sometimes such artificial attitude can make someone’s mood and in turn the attitude may spread like a wild fire. Moreover that is what is expected from a stranger but it should not come from a person whom we know well. What do you say? A friend should be like a true mirror.

    I totally agree with DUTA’S comment on this post. Conversation is an elegant art. And you are totally wrong in saying that it is forgotten. The artists may have become less but still it is there and is still a precious art. It will grow further only when WE practice the art well.

    Hey congrats on getting the magical number on the follower’s list. :) Where is our treat ???

    Out of the context, I wanted to let you know that there is some technical glitch in the coding of the blog. I tried leaving a comment two times yesterday morning but could not succeed. Moreover I’m unable to read the starting comments clearly as one of the widgets of your blog is overlapping on your comments section. And more importantly your blog is taking quite some time to get downloaded in my browser.

  35. 'Making a conversation is an art' I have come across this line many a times Susan. But yes, what use is an art if there is no soul in it??!
    However in today's fast moving world where everything is just swooshing past at the speed of light, where all that we are surrounded with is noise endless noise of news, views and counterviews, having a good/ soulful conversation does becomes a luxury of sorts. There comes a time when most of us yearn for it...yes we do 'talk' but there is a difference in talkig and having a conversation afterall! And it most of the times ends up happening in the most unlikely places and like you have had, with strangers!!
    You have mentioned plastic converstaion in this post, well this particular genre far outweighs that of plastic smiles I think.
    A genuine smile, a patient ear and a little bit of ones time is what is required to make a soulful converstion with anyone I believe…even oneself...

  36. Asif:

    welcome again to the meanderings. Gosh! Congrats on writing a comment longer than my post! Thanks for the nice words. You are making me smile ear to ear. Truly.
    As for Facebook, that's just a message. You can even now sign up for FB. It's popular than Orkut. Grin. Mirrors! Connecting the first paragraph and the second. We are 'good' friends then! Smiles.

    Yes, a few diligent people do preserve this art and my followers are in this 'few.'

    Thanks for the congratulations. It seems like yesterday and I feel happy for the 100! And as an icing, glad that you came in just as I got my 100th.

    As for the technical glitch, I don't know what to do about it. If you know the solution, please feel free to let me know :)

    And thanks for the time and patience. It means a lot and you know that :)

  37. Ruchi:

    You just said it dear Ruchi. A bit more genuineness goes a long way in the 'soulful' part. Hope you are enjoying your Tuesday evening with love and laughter.

    Joy always :)

  38. Nowadays my conversations are mostly about the weather, maybe a pinch of kids or husband is added if I'm lucky and that is it. If I knew how to start a conversation with a little more depth I would do it right now. But as soon as I lean toward another subject they leave. Maybe I should leave Denmark again and find an environment that is a little more open to 'strangers'.



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