Over the past few weeks, I've noticed again that I've taken an incredible liking to conversations. Whether it's with my roommate over lunch, at a coworker's party, or with my girlfriend. In and of themselves, none of these conversations are anything really special, mostly everyday things are discussed. It's much more a thought that shoots through my head during the conversations.
For us as humans, it is impossible to see the world from any other point of view than our own. Even in movies, where we are shown the world from the point of view of the main characters, we see through our own eyes. If the movie is particularly good, we may forget about reality. We become fully immersed. This phenomenon of completely forgetting our own lives for the span of a few hours and empathizing with the characters is not unique to movies, however. It can also happen when we read a good book, listen to a story, or even when we talk to someone.
Of course, books, movies, or other stories are designed to grab us as much as possible. Most conversations, however, do not have this goal. I find it all the more fascinating that this can still happen. Maybe the person you're talking to isn't so eloquent that you're immediately hooked on the story, but conversations give you the opportunity to relate to the everyday lives of others. After all, real life is rarely as it is shown in Hollywood movies. Perhaps our partner or work colleague will be grateful to us if we listen to their problems. If we can then suggest a solution that actually solves the problem, we have also done ourselves a favor. Because if we should have the problem ourselves, we already have a solution.
As a good listener, it is important to want to understand your counterpart. Anyone who has had a bad conversation (anyone) knows what it's like when the other person is just waiting to talk. The other person does not go into the details of the story, but tries to tell an anecdote of his or her own life or experiences at every opportunity. Not only do you feel more or less ignored in such situations, but you also don't find a solution to what you've been told.
But listening is not always about finding solutions to problems. Often it is enough to understand the other person, to be happy or angry with them.
The more I try to put myself in other people's shoes, the better the conversation becomes. Just as you can pillory everything in a film and say that this or that is illogical or directly bring the killer argument that it's all just an act anyway, you can also say in any conversation that yes, it's all just an act. only is someone else's view. But if you want to really enjoy a story, you have to be willing to take the story for what it is. Because only then can you fully understand your counterpart.
What is it like for you? Do you know when a conversation is more than just average and what makes a good conversation for you? We would love to hear your opinion in the comments.