As strange as it may sound, you’ll have better conversation with others if you give yourself more time to reflect on your own thoughts.
Photo by jessicahtam.
All conversations start with a thought, but it’s hard to spark one if you haven’t had any time to really think. That’s why MIT Professor Sherry Turkle, the author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, suggests that solitude is necessary for having good conversation later on:
…alone we prepare to talk together… together we learn how to engage in a more productive solitude… Afraid of being alone, we struggle to pay attention to ourselves. And what suffers is our ability to pay attention to each other. If we can’t find our own center, we lose confidence in what we have to offer others. Or you can work the circle the other way. We struggle to pay attention to each other, and what suffers is our ability to know ourselves.
This might seem a little counterproductive, but many great minds harp on the benefits of spending time alone. Being alone gives you the best opportunity to see who you really are, and lets you find your “centre.” Once you know yourself, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing opinions and stories with others; and that makes conversation a breeze.