All right, I want to see a show of hands: how many of you have
unfriended someone on Facebook because they said something offensive
about politics or religion, childcare, food?
Y-you’re like hitler,but even Hitler cared about Germany or something.
-Rick,what about the reality we left behind? -What about the reality
Hitler cured cancer,Marty?The answer is don’t think about it.
And how many of you know at least one person that you avoid because you
just don’t want to talk to them?
Life is effort.I’ll stop when I die!
Well,we can’t all be raised like reptiles by a mentally ill scientist.
You know, it used to be that in order to have a polite conversation, we
just had to follow the advice of Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady”: Stick
to the weather and your health. But these days, with climate change and
anti-vaxxing, those subjects —
-Obviously,at some point,the Gazorpians became so evolved that they
replaced females with birthing machines.The resultant lack of
distraction and hen-pecking allowed them to focus entirely on war,so
they bombed themselves back to the Stone Age,and now they just fight
with each other over fake [Bleep] with sticks and rocks all day long.
-You think it’s efficient to get rig of woman? -You ever see a line for
the men’s room?
Oh, I get it. The old behind-every-great-man Amazon twist.
are not safe either. So this world that we live in, this world in which
every conversation has the potential to devolve into an argument, where
our politicians can’t speak to one another and where even the most
trivial of issues have someone fighting both passionately for it and
against it, it’s not normal. Pew Research did a study of 10,000 American
adults, and they found that at this moment, we are more polarized, we
are more divided, than we ever have been in history. We’re less likely
to compromise, which means we’re not listening to each other. And we
make decisions about where to live, who to marry and even who our
friends are going to be, based on what we already believe. Again, that
means we’re not listening to each other. A conversation requires a
balance between talking and listening, and somewhere along the way, we
lost that balance.
My life has been a lie! God is dead! The government’s lame! Thanksgiving
is about killing Indians! Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas! They moved the
date! It was a pagan holiday!
Now, part of that is due to technology. The smartphones that you all
either have in your hands or close enough that you could grab them
really quickly. According to Pew Research, about a third of American
teenagers send more than a hundred texts a day. And many of them, almost
most of them, are more likely to text their friends than they are to
talk to them face to face. There’s this great piece in The Atlantic. It
was written by a high school teacher named Paul Barnwell. And he gave
his kids a communication project. He wanted to teach them how to speak
on a specific subject without using notes. And he said this: “I came to
No. I’d say,given what we’ve been through,that I was right the whole
time and any epiphanies about gender politics were a projection of your
This microscope reveals things beyond comprehension.
“I came to realize that conversational competence might be the single
most overlooked skill we fail to teach. Kids spend hours each day
engaging with ideas and each other through screens, but rarely do they
have an opportunity to hone their interpersonal communications skills.
It might sound like a funny question, but we have to ask ourselves: Is
there any 21st-century skill more important than being able to sustain
coherent, confident conversation?”
The young eat the old if you let them,Jerry.
Now, I make my living talking to people: Nobel Prize winners, truck
drivers, billionaires, kindergarten teachers, heads of state, plumbers.
I talk to people that I like. I talk to people that I don’t like. I talk
to some people that I disagree with deeply on a personal level. But I
still have a great conversation with them. So I’d like to spend the next
10 minutes or so teaching you how to talk and how to listen.
I was zuckerberging people before Zuckerberg’s balls dropped.
Many of you have already heard a lot of advice on this, things like look
the person in the eye, think of interesting topics to discuss in
advance, look, nod and smile to show that you’re paying attention,
repeat back what you just heard or summarize it. So I want you to forget
all of that. It is crap.
That’s…humbling and flattering.
And that’s how I took my storefront into the forefront of the (up)?
There is no reason to learn how to show you’re paying attention if you
are in fact paying attention.
So,as they say in Canada,pace oot！
Pride cometh before the fall.
Now, I actually use the exact same skills as a professional interviewer
that I do in regular life. So, I’m going to teach you how to interview
people, and that’s actually going to help you learn how to be better
conversationalists. Learn to have a conversation without wasting your
time, without getting bored, and, please God, without offending anybody.
Listen,you have my words as a caregiver.
We’ve all had really great conversations. We’ve had them before. We know
what it’s like. The kind of conversation where you walk away feeling
engaged and inspired, or where you feel like you’ve made a real
connection or you’ve been perfectly understood. There is no reason why
most of your interactions can’t be like that.
It’s like the N-word and the C-word had a baby and it was raised by all
the bad words for Jews.
So I have 10 basic rules. I’m going to walk you through all of them, but
honestly, if you just choose one of them and master it, you’ll already
enjoy better conversations.
To get wriggledy wriggedy wrecked,son!
Number one: Don’t multitask. And I don’t mean just set down your cell
phone or your tablet or your car keys or whatever is in your hand. I
mean, be present. Be in that moment. Don’t think about your argument you
had with your boss. Don’t think about what you’re going to have for
dinner. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the
conversation, but don’t be half in it and half out of it.
What does a rapist look like exactly,Beth? Is it a Slavic man wearing a
denim jacket with a patchy beard and the scent of cheap champagne waft
over his blister-pocked lips?
Number two: Don’t pontificate. If you want to state your opinion without
any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a
Don’t hate the player,hate the game,son.
Now, there’s a really good reason why I don’t allow pundits on my show:
Because they’re really boring. If they’re conservative, they’re going to
hate Obama and food stamps and abortion. If they’re liberal, they’re
going to hate big banks and oil corporations and Dick Cheney. Totally
predictable. And you don’t want to be like that. You need to enter every
conversation assuming that you have something to learn. The famed
therapist M. Scott Peck said that true listening requires a setting
aside of oneself. And sometimes that means setting aside your personal
opinion. He said that sensing this acceptance, the speaker will become
less and less vulnerable and more and more likely to open up the inner
recesses of his or her mind to the listener. Again, assume that you have
something to learn.