Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ESSAY: Why a good conversation is hard to find

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." ~Dale Carnegie


Good talk / Cindy La Ferle

_____________

New content is posted daily every morning and auto-emailed at 7pm EST to subscribers. Social media sharing options available at the end of each post on the home page.  

Please share with your friends. 




At a local pub recently, my husband and I discussed "the lost art of conversation" with a couple of our closest friends -- the sort of friends with whom we can talk about anything.  

We all puzzled over the fact that, in the past couple of years, we've encountered way too many people who chatter about themselves -- nonstop -- without expressing much interest in the people who are listening. A lot of us are talking at each other, rather than with each other.

What's really going on? My husband's theory is that social media sites foster one-sided communication -- and we've grown accustomed to delivering monologues or posting self-promoting tidbits at all hours of the day and night. Boasting, bragging, and self-promotion are not only acceptable, but encouraged. And, as technology experts and psychologists point out, social media sites are specifically designed to hook us on the rush of dopamine we get each time someone "likes" or comments on our posts and boasts. As if that's not intoxicating enough, we can spill our news (or a deliver a rant) without waiting to see anyone in person. 

On the other hand, genuine conversation is a balanced exchange requiring patience, empathy, and listening skills. A good conversation is not a recital in which one person drones on about herself while the other person nods and applauds. A good conversation leaves everyone feeling heard, understood, and appreciated.  

The give-and-take of good talk

Good conversationalists make socializing a pleasure -- and if you're lucky, you already know a few of them. Here's what they do: 

1) Good conversationalists share details about their lives -- but they always find a way to loop the conversation back to you. For instance, they'll tell you about their recent trip to New England -- but they'll be sure to ask what you've been doing with your free time this summer, too. 

2) Good conversationalists try to learn something new about every person they talk with, including their longtime friends. They'll ask you for an update on how things have been going with your work, a project, your family, your health. They remember that everyone has a vocation or an area of expertise, whether it's gardening, scuba diving, cooking, golf, fashion photography, or pet sitting. 

3) When they're at a loss for new conversation topics, they'll resort to books, movies, sports, or TV series. They'll ask you for movie or book recommendations; they'll ask which team you're cheering for; they'll ask about the cool shoes you're wearing. 

4) Good conversationalists avoid showing off -- because they know that others are secretly turned off by anyone who tries too hard to impress. If they think you'd be sincerely interested in their latest accomplishments, they'll share them only in the appropriate context. They never brag or boast.

5) Good conversationalists pay sincere attention to what the other person is saying. They don't wait until it's their turn to insert an opinion. They know that listening carefully opens a window to understanding others, and is an opportunity to learn something new. No wonder others seek out their company. ~Cindy La Ferle

Time off for healing

"Surrender to the way things want to happen next, even though 
this often involves a vast and terrifying loss of control. 
Trust the magic that was born into your soul." 
~Martha Beck


Sunrise on the St. Joseph River / Cindy La Ferle

Friends, 
I'm taking an extended break from this blog while I recover from surgery. Thanks for your patience while I rest and heal. Meanwhile, I hope you're enjoying these beautiful summer days. 
                                                                       ~Cindy La Ferle


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Owning our choices and mistakes

"We are solely responsible for our choices, 
and have to accept the consequences of every deed, 
word, and thought throughout our lifetime." 
~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


On Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle


Please visit the homepage to view additional content. Parts of this blog do not appear on some digital devices.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Admitting our differences

"Not everyone thinks the way you think, 
knows the things you know, 
believes what you believe, 
nor acts as you would act. 
Remember this and you will go a long way 
in getting along with others." 
~Arthur Forman

Coco and Remy: Getting along -- most of the time / Cindy La Ferle

Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Time to lighten up

"Mix a little foolishness with your most serious plans. 
It is wise to be silly at the right moment." 
~Horace

Cindy La Ferle

_________

Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer days in northern Michigan

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes 
on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, 
listening to the murmur of water, 
or watching the clouds float across the sky 
is by no means a waste of time.” 
~John Lubbock



Empire Bluffs / Cindy La Ferle 

_____________
Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The gift of sensitivity

"People who tell you you're 'too sensitive' 
don't want to be held responsible 
for your reaction when they hurt or mistreat you." 
~Anonymous quote found on Pinterest

Cindy La Ferle


Please visit the home page for additional content.  
Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices.




Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Standing out

“If knowing yourself and being yourself were as easy to do as to talk about, there wouldn't be nearly so many people walking around in borrowed postures, spouting secondhand ideas, trying desperately to fit in rather than to stand out.” 
 Warren G. Bennis, On Becoming a Leader


Larkspur at the Cotswold Cottage, Greenfield Village  / Cindy La Ferle



Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Happy people

"Happy people accept responsibility for how their lives unfold. 
They believe their happiness is a byproduct of 
their own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, character and behavior." 
~Marc & Angel Hack Life


Cindy La Ferle

__________________
Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices.





Saturday, July 7, 2018

Creative living

"Everybody has a creative potential, 
and from the moment you can express 
this creative potential, you can start changing the world." 
~ Paulo Coelho


Cindy La Ferle

_____________
Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 


Friday, July 6, 2018

Playing fair

"It’s tough but simple. 
You can’t play dirty and complain about the other side playing dirty. 
You can’t show disrespect and claim you’re being disrespected." 

~Mitch Albom

Greenfield Village / Cindy La Ferle

__________________
Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cultivating joy

“Find ecstasy in life; 
the mere sense of living is joy enough.” 
Emily Dickinson


Jack with newly harvested catnip / Cindy La Ferle


Please visit the homepage to view additional content. Parts of this blog do not appear on some digital devices.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Independence Day

"I love America. I love the world. Brotherhood and sisterhood have no borders for me. My heart orbits the Earth, 
and love cannot be measured in longitude or latitude." 
~Terri Guillemets


Red Run fireworks, Royal Oak / Cindy La Ferle

__________________


Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 
Wishing you all a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday! 
Happy birthday, America!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Constructive criticism

"Do not regard a country's critics as questionable patriots. 
What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams 
but profound critics of the colonial status quo?" 
~Adlai Stevenson

At Greenfield Village, Dearborn / Cindy La Ferle

__________________


Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices. 


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tuning out the noise

“If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet, 
maybe we could understand something.”
 ~Federico Fellini


Seeking inner peace / Cindy La Ferle

__________________
Please visit the home page for additional content.  Parts of this blog do not show on digital devices.