I have created a game with the purpose of facilitating meaningful conversations, so I thought I’d write a post about why I think such conversations are important, both for you to understand, but maybe even more for me to create a clearer picture of my own thoughts.
I really do believe that we are very importantly reliant on each other, we need other people around us to know who we are, through the lenses of psychology we see that happiness is very closely connected to social life, but I’m not sure that what we really want from out life’s is happiness, at least not in the way it is often proclaimed. When we proclaim it as something to pursue as an individual, we loose the capability to reach it, because in my own opinion happiness is something we find only when we let go of ourselves, and start living for each other.
Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor says it better than I:
“Man is originally characterized by his “search for meaning” rather than his “search for himself.” The more he forgets himself—giving himself to a cause or another person—the more human he is. And the more he is immersed and absorbed in something or someone other than himself the more he really becomes himself.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Ultimate Meaning
When we give time to meaningful conversations, we not only create space for us to know our own story and thereby start taking control of it, we also become active supporters in each others lives, because we choose to search for meaning together. By taking part of each others lives we also start nurturing a ancient way of life, back from a hunters gathers lifestyle, where we live not in spite of each other but because of each other.
Why We Take Control of our Lives by Sharing Stories?
We become better at telling them by practising; and when we share
stories from our own life we not only gain a better understanding
but also a better brain. it is also proved that the brain development
through a meaningful conversation is the strongest there is, because
it is then that we stop downloading others thoughts and ideas, and
start creating our own.
The stories we tell ourselves about our lives matter. If we feel sad or overwhelmed, and we constantly tell ourselves there’s good reason to feel that way, chances are we’re going to keep feeling that way.
But if we spin a more positive story about life, it can actually help us feel better. This is not a new idea, but something that the medical universe is finally starting to understand and therefore embrace. This is a very pop Psychology claim, yet I do believe that there’s truth to be found in it.
A More personal take on the subject
Besides all these existential thoughts on the subject I firmly believe that when we start talking about things together at a deeper level, we start eliminating the disagreements that could stand in our way of a debating discussion, discussions are often the spark needed to get anywhere new. But my own experience is also that at some point it is good to start sharing our stories about why we perceive things as we do, to create dialogue, it is then that we have started a development of new thoughts. The new thoughts only evolve rapidly when we try to understand each other, that does not mean agree, just that we create an open gate for challenges towards ourselves.
I experienced something in a discussion with some friends about gender roles, I provoked my opposite in the discussion to generate a reaction, but at the point where we he actually got mad at me, I asked if we should share why we actually think as we do.
Sharing vulnerable stories from our lives, suddenly created another room entirely, we then did not need to express our opposing opinion, instead we searched for understanding and learning within each other.
The Sun and the Moon
In the end, a lot of these thoughts about meaningful conversations and relations comes down to two things for me, Balance and Wholeness. Balance in close relations, between search for depth and letting go of it, to sometimes sit till late in the night and turn all that matters in you lives and then sometimes just be fools together, play games, sit in a forest, talk nerd talk (those are my best preferences), what matters is that you remember to do both, in your own way differently from relation to relation.. Wholeness is about the sun and the moon, being the same at night and day, at work and home, creating a authentic me, by being the same person where ever I am, not making drastic change because of circumstance. (Also don’t be too stubborn to wear a tie if needed)
Stay true to yourself, but before that take some time to figure what that means to you, do it together with others, and use meaningful conversations to get there.
Vulnerable stories of our true fears and pain as opposed to the patterns that try to efface them and hide them is THE KEY.