The Art of Utterance
Through my examination I’ve noticed that I often practice the art of mere utterance during conversation rather then meaningful conversation. My friends experienced the same feeling as they decided to take the time to experience this self-observation with me. It was far more difficult to communicate with people following the three conditions than I thought. I discovered that I often justify my statements, which can be misconstrued as brutal, by saying that they are true however, through this exercise I realized just because something might be true doesn’t mean that it is kind or useful and offers stimulating conversation.
Through practicing this type of communication I discovered that people, beyond close friends, are more perceptive in conversation and more willing to hold a conversation. However, something that I also discovered was that I have a hard time always telling the true. Now I am not a compulsive liar but I felt that sometimes I would tell a little white lie in order to avoid a conversation I didn’t want to have. To be entirely truthful, it was extremely difficult to communicate entirely kind, useful, and true in every conversation throughout my day as sometimes conversations are neither kind nor rude as well as trivial rather than useful. In observing this I have discovered that most of the conversations I have are in fact trivial and serve no real beneficial use in my every day life.
Small talk seems to have taken over the vast majority of not only my conversation but my peers as well. I found this especially intriguing which is why I encouraged my friends to practice the same evaluation for only a few hours and many of them told me the couldn’t even last a few hours of conversation saying kind, useful, and true things. It’s strange to learn that something that should be so easy has become so difficult in our culture today. I finally understand why my parents constantly nag at my “generation” for our inability to hold a meaningful conversation. Through social media outlets we have learned that it’s okay to simply utter any statement without any reason rather than carry a conversation that is king, useful, and true. These outlooks, personally, contribute to the downfall of my generation’s ability to hold conversation. I personally don’t tweet or post on facebook but when I see what other’s write it’s often hurtful remarks that are nothing but hatred or ignorance. I think what most substantially effects the ability to conversation is the choice to text over call and send a quick note rather than a lengthy conversation. We seem to avoid IRL, or in real life, conversation as much as possible and its rather disturbing. I won’t pretend I don’t fall victim to the same ways of communication but these iExamen’s don’t allow me to realize things about conversation just during the specific self-evaluation but also frequently after them.
I assumed, just and I did during iExamen 1, that this would be an easy practice that needed little effort put into it. However, I was exceedingly shocked by how difficult it was to practice this way of communication. I undoubtedly caught myself more than a few times breaking the exercise; however when I did, I made enormous strides to revert the conversation to be kind, useful, and true. It’s amazing how I discovered how many little lies get you through the day when you are focused on making sure your communication must be true. The same applies for kind and useful, I never realized that some of my conversations could be, to put it nicely, utterly useless. By self-observation I realized I could contribute a lot more to my friendships with peers and even family by practicing this way of communication. I know I don’t need to exhibit this in every single conversation but I think it’s important to instill the qualities of kindness, usefulness and truth into most of your conversations. After trying to diligently practice this in just one day I’ve noticed that people have come to me to engage in conversation more than they normally do which I can’t help but attribute to this exercise.