Is it just me or has anybody else noticed that on any given day there is very little meaningful conversations going on? Before sheltering in you would walk out your door and see a neighbor and you would say, “Hi, how are you?”
They reply, “Fine, how are you?”
And you hurriedly shout out, “Fine thanks, have a good day.”
To which they say, “Thanks you too.”
This, of course, is me assuming that you even talk to your neighbors, which far too many of us don’t. By the time you get to work or your child’s school or the grocery store, you have repeated this meaningless conversation too many times to count. Yes, this is meaningless conversation folks because there is often very little truth in it. If we stop to think about it, how many days in a row can we honestly be fine or okay?
Now during the coronavirus, we’ve upped the level of meaningless in order to commiserate together. The responses of fine and okay have been replaced with I don’t know, terrified and trying to be hopeful. All of which says nothing about what is really going on for us. I know we can’t have meaningful conversations with everyone, but can we honestly say that we are making an EFFORT to have it with most of the people that we talk with in our lives?
As many of us are still sheltering in place and finding wonderful creative ways to play games, have cocktails, and check-in with family and friends, how about adding some real time for meaningful conversation.
I’m including some meaningful conversation starters to get you out there. Don’t forget to include the kids, they really need to talk.
- What do you miss about the life you were living before corona hit?
- No, how are you really doing? I’ve got time to listen.
- What are you looking forward to doing when all of this is over?
- What are you finding out about yourself that you really like?
- What’s been some of the hardest parts of living like this?
- Who/what makes you laugh during this time?
- Who are you missing right about now?
- What changes do you hope to make in the world one day?
- What are you learning about other people during this time?
- What fears are keeping you up at night?
- What are some of the special memories that you have from your life?
- Who are three special people in your life and why?
- What’s the silliest or craziest thing you’ve ever done?
- Ten things that make you smile and why?
- Three things people can’t tell about you by looking at you.
- What’s the superpower you’d love to have right now and why?
- What are your superpowers and how do you use them?
- What’s one thing you will never forget about this experience?
- What’s one thing you’d like to forget about this experience?
- What has worked to get you through this and what has not?
The old game of twenty questions can have a new meaning if you turn it into meaningful conversation. This is just a start, you can add your own and take it from here. Taking this time to really look into and listen to the hearts of those who are willing and wanting to share, can turn the fear of the unknown into the joy of knowing each other better.
I’m game if you are.