Here we are in January 2013. Little questionnaire – did you ask any of these 6 famous questions? So famous are these questions that they are echoed around the world, with usually little interest in the response:
1. What are you doing for Christmas?
2. How was your Christmas? This is always closely followed by…
3. What are you doing for New Year?
4. What did you do for New Year?
5. Are you having time off? This question can occur anywhere amongst the previous questions.
6. And then…Did you have time off?… with the possible follow up, How was your holiday?
This year I have decided to take on a personal challenge.
The challenge is, drum roll please….ask non traditional or small talk questions and truly make conversation interesting. Convention and making polite conversation is not only time wasting, but also so inconsistent with integrity. ‘OMG Marietta!’ you maybe exclaiming. ‘No more questions about the weather?’ That’s right my friends. No more ridiculous statements about the weather. This is not conversation. We are not famers, where the weather actually matters in everyday survival. I live in the city and generally speaking, work indoors. I work in an industry that has treadmills for running INDOORS – then why the comment about how hot it is in Summer (which it should be) or how cold it is in Winter (which, again is stating the obvious). No, I am going to ask questions that I am actually interested in the answer. And to add, I am going to ask questions that don’t necessarily create an agreement with my own opinion. You know the question when someone is canvassing for your endorsement of their opinion. An example would be: Don’t you think that it is unfair that …? Usually the response would be ‘yes and oh, let me let tell you about my own experience of unfairness’. Nah, I have decided that I am also not going to engage in this type of conversation. It goes nowhere. It does not add to the quality of my life or anyone else’s.
So 2013, I am ready to be engaged in interesting conversation, be able to shift the direction of negative questions, and finally learn to keep my mouth closed when I have nothing of consequence to say.