Like most of us, the last few months have been full of short conversations through a glass barrier or a brief exchange using the many video conferencing apps that are available. I have to believe that the days of being able to visit with others over a leisurely meal will be returning soon.
A few weeks ago, on one of my son’s drive by visits, I asked him what his work schedule was.
“Why do you keep asking me this? “ he replied. “It’s the same ole same ole every week.”
Not the most attention-grabbing conversation starter, I must admit. However, in my defense, I was trying to engage in small talk.
His response started me thinking. If my time to chat with the people who are nearest and dearest to me is going to be brief, I have to make the most of the moment. I need to have the type of dialogue that leaves both parties feeling connected and uplifted.
Since then, I have made an effort to make my conversations meaningful. Last weekend, I sat with my family in the back yard. We typically come together on a Sunday to get caught up on the previous week. This time our conversation was more intimate. We shared how we felt about the instability of the country right now. We laughed about the ill-fitting face masks that we were using. I even managed to find out how my son’s new role at work is going. Our short visit gave me a better sense for how they were doing.
My decision to dive deeper as I engage with others is allowing me to know my friends, my family, and my co-workers better. Meaningful conversations help us feel connected. They give us insight into a person’s views and opinions. More importantly, they help us know we are valued and loved.
The next time you are tempted to ask a lame question, stop! Ask something that will help foster a connection. You will be glad you did.