Create a Conversation You Actually Care About
Ah, the art of conversation. Seemingly mysterious and heavily sought after yet most of us don’t know where to start. I’ll admit, I’ve felt that envy before, watching someone totally nail a good conversation. They’ve got their timing down, their wit on point and can work a room like nobody’s business. But let’s be real, that’s not most of us. We fumble on our words, find sanctuary near the snack bar, and have no idea what to talk about. Cue awkwardness.
Enter default question:
“What do you do?”
Blegh. How many of you have grown tired of this question? If I’m being honest, it makes me cringe. I mean, I get the point, really. A career can say alot about a person. Hell, if we’re lucky enough, we really love what we do and that can totally be fun to share! But we are so much more than our careers. Not to mention, there are many of us out there that aren’t huge fans of our work, maybe we make the best of it, but we often do what we do, not because it’s our passion, but more likely because we went to school for it, we’re really good at it, or it pays the bills.
So when we’re looking to meet someone new or even date, are we really that curious about their work?
Not likely. We want to know who they are. What they’re into. What kind of values they hold. Depth. Substance.
So why do we keep asking the same used up question? Springboard for conversation perhaps? We all have our reasons, but if we’re being honest, it’s a habit. It’s what we know. Something we’ve grown accustomed to asking. Boo. Stale.
Let’s try something different.
Enter new question:
“What do you like to do?”
Hello. Game changer.
Think about this for yourself for a moment. Think about how much more vast and free this question feels. Here lies you. The you that gets to express yourself however you like, with no constraints or obligation. What do you enjoy that channels a more authentic side of you? Where do you feel most inspired, most creative, most free? Do you hike? Like to go to music shows? Cuddle up and read? Play social sports? Post up at a coffee shop and write? Get your stretch on at yoga? Try out new restaurants?
What do you find pleasure in when you’re not bound to your work? That’s it.
Do you see the difference here?
When we ask this question (of ourselves and others), we discover a more authentic version of who we are and a more genuine version of the person we’re pursuing. Not to mention this creates a great opportunity for richer conversations, fun recommendations and more intriguing date ideas! So next time you’re meeting someone new (maybe even practice on someone you already know), ask them this question. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.