The Art of Conversation: What’s happened to it?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Something that’s continued to become more and more obvious to me is that no one in today’s world seems to be willing to have actual real conversations or discussions about anything. It’s driving me nuts.

If you voice an opinion that is different than someone else’s, they automatically assume that you hate them, or you’re angry at them.

If you try to point out why the other side of an argument could be thinking the way they are, the other person assumes that you’re “on their side” and against them, when you really just have an understanding why they could be thinking that way.

People assuming that you have x, y or z political associations just because you have one specific view or opinion about certain topics, and then try to use that as an insult against you.

When you try to learn, grow, and better yourself by asking for help understanding a different perspective, or even just to know if there was a different perspective to understand, all you get back is “Ok, whatever. Its not my job”.

No one actually seems to want to sit down and have a discussion about these things.

When did this happen?!

When did our society turn into this “blame everyone else, nothing is ever my fault, and screw everyone who thinks different from me” type of world?

What happened to the days where 2 (or more) people could actually have a discussion about their opposing views, explain why they see things the way they do, why they think the other opinion isn’t correct, without hating each other or thinking that they’re fighting?

Remember when people could make a mistake in their life, learn from that mistake, then move on? Today’s world seems to think “Oh, that person said a wrong thing 15+ years ago, better “cancel” them and never let them have a career, and run their name through the mud 1000 times so they can never recover their reputation.”

Everything seems to be black or white, hot or cold, right or wrong, who’s to blame. No one seems to want to accept responsibility. No one seems to want to help other people out. No one is willing to admit they’re wrong. No one seems to be allowed to live in the grey space, questioning both sides.

Quite frankly, I’m getting pretty fucking sick of it.

I miss the days when you could have friendly banter back and forth about any topic with another person, and leave the conversation with either more knowledge, or a different perspective, Even if no opinions or minds were changed in the conversation, it was never a fight, it was a debate. You still walked away with whoever it was being your friend at the end of the day.

I miss the days when you could sit down with someone and say “I understood what you said as XYZ, but you seem to have meant it a different way. Can you please explain that to me?” and they actually would, instead of saying “not my problem” and walking away.

So many things in our society have grown so much, for the better. Social media has helped in making us more aware of the things happening in our world, its helped keep us connected to friends and family far and wide, its helped us make friends and talk to people we never would have had the chance to otherwise.

But is so many ways its gone backwards. We’ve forgotten how to have a real conversation, we’ve gotten to the point where most people can’t handle being told their wrong, or that others can have a different opinion than themselves. Everyone seems to just be in this “if you don’t agree with me, than we’re not friends anymore and I don’t want anything to do with you” frame of mind.

Meanwhile, here I am. Purposely trying to understand where I might have an area to improve upon, actually reading about topics I don’t know about instead of just following headlines, purposely following people who have opposing views to mine so that I can try and understand where they’re coming from.

If I find there is someone in my news feeds that I immediately feel the urge to unfriend or block them, then I stop and remind myself that there might be something I can learn from this person.

I actually want to understand other people better. The better I can understand other people, the better I can understand myself, and grow more.

So, maybe the next time you feel the need to unfriend someone with opposing views, you consider keeping them on your friends list instead, so you can gain more understanding from seeing their views.

If you see something you don’t agree with, or an opinion that opposes yours, try asking why the other person has that view.

If you see a comment you don’t like somewhere, instead of snapping at the person and biting their head off, try replying to it in a calm and collected manner (or not at all) instead, try having a real conversation about the topic.

Are these things going to work out for you every time? No, but the times that they do work out for you feel pretty damn good, and I’ve found help me gain more compassion for other people I might come into contact with throughout my day.

I just wanted to give you all something to maybe think about in your life going forward. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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