Monthly Archives: December 2013

How to jump into Conversations: The Myth of the Right Moment

Often times, in conversations, I find myself waiting for the “right moment” to start talking.  Perhaps that means the perfect natural pause that the participants will somehow read my mind to know I’m looking for, and react to give me what I am hoping for.  Sometimes it’s the proper amount of time to allow for a topic or an emotion to settle down throughout the group.  Other times, it’s to follow an awkward silence, or just a normal silence—do I start right away? Do I pay tribute to the awkward silence in the form of a few more seconds before I have the right to start talking…oh but wait, now I missed the moment, the tempo is off! I need to wait another natural pause off the natural awkward silence to begin talking.

Then I noticed that when I talk with friends about non-serious topics, I ignore the idea of there being a “right moment,” and I just cut in or start a conversation whenever I feel like it.  There’s minimal “measuring the situation and group” involved.  And the conversation, the interaction, and the relationship proceeds successfully.  Therefore, I want to say that in most circumstances, there is no such thing as a “right moment,” so don’t over think it, and just start talking once you have something to say.  The best way to measure whether it’s the right moment or not is to watch the reactions immediately after, and handle the aftermath: once you know you can handle the aftermath, you will no longer be afraid to trigger them, and you will be freed from having to wait for the mysterious “right moment.”

Friendship: Drifting Apart

This year, for the first time, I spent Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday alone instead of going home and visiting friends and family like I normally would.  I chose to do this because I wanted to do some soul searching, without any external influences, and find out more about myself, so I could make some important life decisions.  On Thursday I finished my ~2 year project of sorting and processing my entire life up until today, and on Friday, I took account of my present, and mapped out my immediate future in relation to that reality.  However, while the purpose of this constructed isolation was to focus on me instead of friends and family, I ended up spending quite some time thinking about family and friends, and I realized that what I am thankful for this year, are the friends who missed me, and the friends I missed.  Here’s how I arrived at that conclusion:

While I was on my own, I would occasionally frequent Facebook, and browse through the Thanksgiving gatherings that showed up on my newsfeed, and I would wonder and reflect on my relationship with that group of people.  How we knew each other.  Why we drifted apart. What might have made things turn out differently.  But most importantly, I thought: over the last few days, some people have reached out, asking about when I’d return and if we’d hang out.  What drove those people to contact me, and the others to not?  Who are the ones I’m going to contact, and why them and not others?  The answer: those who miss me, and those I miss.

That train of thought led me to the topic of this post: of those people I miss and wonder how they’re doing, who can I comfortably contact again, and who has drifted far enough that it would seem out of the blue?  It is sad to think that former associates with whom camaraderie was had are no longer available for contact.  But it’s just part of life, that in our travels we will continue to meet more people, and the new friends we make will cause some old ones to slip away.  However, the silver lining in this is that that fact adds another dimension to how special the ones whom we can continue to connect with are, so I am extra thankful for the friends who can miss me, and the friends I can miss.

Gary Blauman – How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 21 – “You will be shocked when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever.  That’s why, when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it. ” – Ted

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