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Mar 7, 2013

Communicating: Talk to me...please!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs this morning. It was all about those many conversations he had with his family on Skype or the telephone. May of us that are older have a routine of calling family or friends on a special day each week.  It could be that running out of things to say is normal.   Here is what happens:
Hi How have you been?
Fine, you?
Fine.
What's up?
Oh you know...same-old, same-old!
I was told one time that I was a great conversationalist...that is a polite way of saying I talk a lot. Still, I do exactly the same thing. Why is it so hard? Why do we do that? Is it that we don't want to revisit our own lives but would really love to hear about the other person's? Then when the other person talks, we wonder why we asked so we let it go?

I might have a solution...a list of things to talk about so the conversation will take the direction we want.

You need to remember that words that will make people think are usually why and how.  Here are some ideas.
  1. What have you been reading? Was it good/bad....why?
  2. Did you see Lincoln (or any movie you have loved)? How was it? 
  3. I'm looking for something new. What have you done that I might like? Why?
  4. Are you watching ___________on tv this year? Why do you like it? 
  5. What do you think about me going to ________? I need your advice.
  6. (When on Skype)....take me for a walk around your house. I need to see something familiar.
  7. I bet my weather story is better than yours.
  8. I am learning to zumba, line dance, etc. What are you up to? 
  9. I like what you are doing but I don't know how to make that happen. Can you help me?
  10. Tell me about your children/grandchildren/neighbors. I need to keep up on the news.
  11. What's up at work? 
  12. Talk to me! I need to hear your news.
There are some subjects that are off limits:
  • worries
  • organ recitals (all our aches and pains)
  • complaints about neighbors, relative.
  • husband/wife litanies.
  • rants (most of the time)
Really, it isn't very hard. Connecting with people that we don't see very often is important but being satisfied with simple "same-old, same-old" does not constitute a conversation. This is one time when you can brag...I give you permission. You will surprised how people will rise to that bait with something better. s:-)

If you are one of those people that have children that do not answer their phones...busy you know...I want to urge you to begin using the text function on your phone.  You will find that you can communicate in more than one way and it seems that email is passe!  I am just saying!

Do you have some better ideas?

b+

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9 comments :

  1. Barbara, you're SO right about the texting. I had to learn to communicate the way my kids do, rather than the other way around. And, I need communication with my parents but often at times when I can't have a long conversation or stop to compose an email. My mother learned to text and it provides the link between actual conversations. My father won't, and we're both missing out. It's not a lack of interest sometimes in connecting, but lack of a common method.

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  2. We have a 5 hour drive tomorrow. I'll use these. :)

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  3. Listening is always a good idea.

    Thanks for the reminder about the "organ recital"!

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  4. One of my daughters loves to cook, so I always ask what new thing she's just made, and how it turned out.

    And I would add "any discussion of finances" to your list of forbidden topics. Nothing good seems to ever come from attempting to initiate that discussion with our kids!

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  6. Great list, Barb. Those items can be used to start any conversation, anytime, anywhere.

    And, yes, why do most older folks seem to relish listing all of our various ailments...a way to connect?

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  7. Susan, Your idea about forwarding text is a very good one. We share contacts in our texts and that has helped the family connect.

    I hear the comments "I don't text...those people use all those OMGs and BFF. I don't even know what means". Things have changes very rapidly in that arena and many of our smart phones even allow us to dictate a text. Seniors are getting on board because the whole technology things is getting easier and easier. Hopefully, your husband will get in on the fun soon.

    Best wishes.

    b+

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  8. Early Retirement Journey,

    I think that idea than finances should be avoided is very valid.My children do ask our advice occasionally but we do not ask or even want to know the details. We are very lucky that our children are doing fine financially.

    b+

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  9. Bob and Linda,

    I have introduced the "organ recital ban" to all of my friends. We joke about it often but only share what is necessary.

    b+

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