With every long weekend comes a host of events; two separate barbecues with different groups of friends, a church service, a prolonged game of multiplayer halo. The question arises: what do you talk about at these different events?
The most dull conversations, and the most interesting, can start with the same set of questions. Worse, though, is spending time with someone – especially someone who’s hard to get hold of, and then going completely blank as to what to talk about. It seems like such a waste; sure, a better-organised person would know exactly what they want to talk about with everyone, but lately, that hasn’t been me.
As a Christian, I have a track record of steering conversations towards Christian-y things from time to time. Depending on ho you’re talking to, the reaction can be anything from "I’m glad you mentioned it" to an awkward, please-change-the-subject silence: strangely, it doesn’t make much difference whether the conversation is with a Christian, or not. Sometimes people are keen to talk about things, other times, it’s like wading through wet cement.
Books like How to win friends and influence people would tell you that to be considered a good conversationalist, you should talk about whatever the other person is interested in. Other books, like How to have a Beautiful mind mention using lateral thinking as the way to approach topics in interesting ways.
I don’t want to be interesting, or well-thought of, though. I’m happy if this happens, I guess, but I’d like to be the kind of person who is worth talking to. I don’t want to lose the dark, odd sense of humour that I have, but I’d like to have people walk away from (at least the occasional) conversation with me thinking "I’m glad we had that conversation".
Let me know how I’m going with that.