What Are YOU Talking About?
I went to lunch with my number one daughter (chronologically speaking from a reference of arrival time on earth) not too long ago. We went to one of those neat little mom and pop restaurants to grab a burger and listen to some tunes provided by a local vocalist. And yes, it is great to live in a small town in Mid-America where they still do that kind of thing.
As we munched on our burgers and fries, we naturally engaged in the usual father-daughter small talk. We chatted about the family, how things were going and how much we enjoyed life and being able live in such a wonderful part of the country. After ten or fifteen minutes of this, we pretty much stopped talking and focused on the food and music. It was nice.
Then my daughter hit me with a question that I’d never experienced before. “Daddy, what do people talk about?”
The flip answer that immediately popped into my mind was “Whatever they want to I guess” – but I knew there was more to it than that. She went on to tell me that she didn’t want to talk about any of the negatives or the major challenges she’s currently facing. She was ready to move on – to focus on the good things in her life and the possibilities for the future. Super…
But it was a very good question. What DO people talk about?
I guess it depends mainly on what they’re interested in or focused on – and who they’re talking with. And naturally, if you get a group of people with a common interest you can bet they’ll be talking about whatever has brought them together whether it be model airplanes, their bowling prowess, the quality of their herds of cattle or the nearest stripper. Seems pretty normal to me.
But every once in a while – and sometimes more often than that - you’ll run into the person who really gets locked on to a specific subject. Frequently, it’s themselves. Now up to a point, that’s OK. I like to learn about a person’s interests or hobbies - what they’ve accomplished and what they’d like to do on down the road. But when the conversation is mostly one-sided about “me, me, me” and how great “I” am, I tend to zone out and find an excuse to be somewhere else. Yeah, I know. There are probably some insecurities prompting the focus on “me”. Maybe they have a huge need to be loved or have the attention they didn’t get growing up. Hard to tell. I just know that too much of that can turn a listener’s brain to mush in a couple of minutes.
The other “me” topic that we frequently encounter falls into the category of “Poor Me – Life Sucks”. We get to hear all about how tough and unfair life is – and are provided all the excruciating details to validate this perception. And yes, I do realize that every single one of these folks has a reason because of life experiences and mental “programming” to feel, act and talk the way they do. It’s a tough road to walk. But at the same time, I can’t help but think that if they would only change their thinking a little, learn more about themselves and how to identify their real problems – and of course, take action to solve these problems – that they’d be a whole bunch happier. And their life would be a lot easier.
Which brings us to the point of this little discussion.
Over the next few weeks, pay attention to the things you’re talking about with your friends, family and coworkers. Are your discussions generally positive and productive – or are they more along the lines of grouching, complaining, fault-finding and whining? Are you smiling and laughing a lot – or are you wearing your frowny face most of the time? Are most of your conversations focused on yourself?
Our conversations, actions, responses to life situations, happiness and even successes are determined by our thought processes – how we have learned to habitually think about ourselves and the world around us. Our conversations are reflective of our thinking patterns. If your communications tend to be self-centered or mostly negative, I would suggest that it’s time for a change. It’s time for some personal mental reprogramming. It’s time to make a transition to a better, more positive way of thinking – a more positive approach to life. There’s plenty of help available on the Internet (check out self-help, personal growth, self improvement, etc.), in bookstores and through local professional organizations. Why don’t you look into it? You’ll be glad you did…
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