In this earlier post, I lamented how most conversations are superficial, with no participant exposing their opinions or experiences which could be revealing or controversial. Superficial conversations are what grease society and useful, of course, but when that is all we do and opportunity for deep or personal conversations are reflexively avoided, I think we error.
In this post I made another complaint about those who steel conversation. There I note that most conversations are not dialogues but instead, merely coordinated monologues with each person just waiting to steal the conversation to start up their monologue again – only pretending to listen (though they’d never want to imagine themselves that way).
In this post, I have experimented with a diagram to illustrate the common topics of conversation. These are neither bad or good topics, but the common one. If people are having conversations about these topics where they can be personal, exploring the statements of others, instead of stealing and try to be open, they can be wonderful. But they are often just mechanical monologues of sorts.
Note that in my diagram I have divided topics by both age and gender. You will notices that topics change as we get older (kids talk about music, old folks about their grandchildren), and gender (though we all share many topics, each sex has its tendency toward specialties: women like clothes and shopping talks, men like sports).
In my next post I will give an example of a conversation I had this week that illustrates several of these issues: monologues, conversation stealing and topic by age (which is what inspired this post). But meanwhile, let me know what you think I have forgotten or gotten wrong in my diagram. Thank you to Anna and Paul’s comments that have helped me in updating this post so far.