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What We Talk About

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Just had a great weekend with my siblings and during my motorcycle ride home I was thinking about the various topics we talked about while together. This caused me to ponder the basis for what we talk about, and if it reflects what is important to us. As well as who we talk to about what, and why.

In this post I am not equating texting or any social media with actual, physical conversation. I am referring purely to face-to-face, in person talks about whatever is at the forefront of our mind or the mind of the person we are sharing space with.

First, I will make the assumption that to bring up a topic, or actively engage in a given conversation about a topic, the person spent some time thinking about it. Second, that the topic is of such importance and/or interest that you would raise it for discussion.

With that, what does it mean when we often talk about work outside of work? Or talk about our hobbies and maybe avoid work talk? Do we talk about our kids (young or old), and, particularly for men, do we aggressively get to sports or our hobbies? The options to conversate are extensive, depending on time - politics, school system, legal system, celebrities, national defense or immigration. Any of these can be explicitly brought up or actively avoided.

Then you have another key determinant, who are you talking to? Is it your spouse, your best friend, a co-worker, a family member, a "church friend" or a stranger? Are their things you are interested in, but because of who the other person is you deliberately avoid that topic?

So, is there any correlation to what is important to you and what you talk about? Does it matter more who you are talking to than what you are talking about? Are you more guarded about certain topics because of the volatile nature of the subject? Does your job preclude active discussion about certain things?

Just thoughts, but there is one thing I find more common than not. Men tend to be more guarded or selective about our discourse. Though posted as a personal insight, too often parenting tactics, approaches, stresses or concerns are not talked about. Each of us have similar challenges, will encounter difficulties and try to balance ourselves, but how often do we raise those subjects?

To my earlier question, what do we talk about, and to whom? And if something is important to us, should we not be physically conversating with those who can offer insights?

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