This article is the second in a series titled ‘Great Conversations’, you can read the first by clicking here.
The Elephant In The Room
It’s a Saturday night and you are feeling pretty good. You approach a pretty girl and you initiate a conversation. You are talking, she is politely listening and talking back but there is definitely something missing, the conversation is going nowhere, you’re both already forming an exit plan and what’s remarkable is that both of you know this and not only that, but you can tell that each other know this but no-one wants to point this out. They call this ‘the elephant in the room.’
In today’s society there are a lot of us who hide behind good manners, we get so caught up in ‘politeness’ that it actually stifles our ability to have interesting provocative conversations rather than enhancing them.
We’ve all witnessed the obnoxious Jerk, the one who is making everyone else uncomfortable because of how uninhibited and inconsiderate he/she is. They often don’t understand social etiquette so they don’t care and because they don’t care they offend people who do care. People who value the laws, traditions and expectations that society places upon us. These people are annoying, but despite that, there are those of us on the other end of the spectrum who are envious because we feel trapped. We know that the safest way to live is to follow the written and unwritten laws of social etiquette, we even allow them to define us. We think of ourselves as being classy, civilized, socially aware, but is that really us?
How often do you talk to people and actually believe and mean EVERYTHING that you say?
You’re watching tv and the news comes on, they are talking about mistreated animals, a horrible hurricane, a child murder in some remote corner of the world. The person next to you is visibly upset and makes a comment about it so you say whatever you think they want to hear because you don’t want to seem cold and insensitive, but was that what you were really thinking? Or did you see an advertisement of smoked ham five minutes earlier and all you’re thinking about is how hungry you are.
Very specific example I know but I’m sure you if you try enough then you can think of your own instances where you have been diplomatically polite for the sake of keeping the peace or trying make someone else like you.
Social etiquette plays an important role in our society, it keeps us civil, if everyone just said what they were really thinking all the time then you probably wouldn’t have many friends.
However, there will be a lot of instances when you are talking to women and you take the other extreme and hold back when you should really be taking a risk. Like when the conversation is going poorly and once again we have ‘The Elephant In The Room’, most of the time when one of these awkward conversations has been set in motion they are on a one way track to nowhere, yet both parties are just too polite and considerate to take a chance with a stranger and say something that might just make things a little bit more uncomfortable.
Next time this happens, next time you have an Elephant in the room, point it out, take some risks. I wouldn’t recommend doing this in every, or even most conversations but in the conversations where you have nothing to loose, you still have an opportunity to try something new, you still have an opportunity to learn something and if you are smart, then you will see the big picture and seize it.
You: Is it just me or is this starting to feel like another Friday night conversation that ends with polite social awkwardness?
Her: What do you mean?
You: I think we’re both way to mature and interesting to hide behind polite conversation. I’d rather get to know the real you, or not at all.
You might just find that in admitting that you were both feeling that vibe that you do have something in common after all. It might even be the basis upon which you can build a connection. You already know the warning signs, you can see these dud conversations coming, and if you’re feeling awkward and bored then she is too but you’re the leader, so it’s up to you to break your mold and show her the real you behind the polite facade.
This might seem unnatural to you at first but it will open up a big gateway to new conversational possibilities. If you know you have been playing it safe and that hasn’t gotten you anywhere then it is time to try something new. It is time to flirt with cold hard honesty, honesty that is so refreshing and bold that it will figuratively blow their minds.
Even if this doesn’t get you laid, you will feel so much more powerful and connected with your true character because you have begun to tap into your raw natural mental flow and this is the essence of wit.
Great wit is not contrived; it can’t be planned. Wit comes from frank honesty and it comes in the spur of a moment when you are enthralled in your conversation. This is how poets do it, this is how rappers do it, this is how comedians do it; they are out on a limb. They are creating wit on the fly and they are telling it how it is. This is what you should be striving for, and if you think that you are incapable of wit, if you think that all of these people were born with some natural talent that separates them from everyone else, then you are right, but you were born with this natural talent as well, you just need to develop it. And you can develop it through meditation and practice, it’s the only way.
By Kieran Black[social_share\]
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