Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meaningful conversations

A friend recently came to stay and we were discussing the difficulties of keeping up with friends by phone over many months (both of us live long distances from old friends and each other).

She realised that when she spoke to friends on the phone, there were a standard set of questions asked:
- how is work?
- how is your family?
- how is church?

However, she could often get to the end of such a conversation and not really feel like you had talked about what was important for her or them.

I know exactly how she feels. I call friends to catch up, and I hear how all these things are going, but if their main concerns or issues do not fall under these standard categories, I may not hear about them, or even realise to ask.

She had decided to change the way she caught up with people over the phone. She now plans to ask 3 main questions and I thought they were so helpful I would share them with you:
  1. What is exciting at the moment? (or, What has been exciting in the last month, etc)
  2. What is challenging or hard work at the moment?
  3. What have you been thinking about recently?
Those are three questions I now look forward to asking her when she calls me and I look forward to answering the same!

Photo from stock.xchng


Bec said...

I like this! I am also away from too many people I wish I wasn't away from. I can identify with the superficial conversations.

As a practical aside, from my neck of the woods, phone calls are crazy expensive! But, today I had a 45 minute conversation with a sister through Skype. I am going to do it more often. And will use the questions!

Bec said...

I like this! I am also away from many people I would rather not be far away from!

I also like to ask the question "What did you do today?" as I really like to be in the minutae (sp??) of sisters and friends lives and know exactly what to pray and ask next time.

I love Skype for chats online or cheap calls to landlines. This has been fantastic for me - with crazy expensive phone calls where I live!

Meredith said...

This is really helpful as I have a small number of friends who I catch up with via long distance phone call.

This is probably a quicker solution than mine - which is to talk for about an hour at a time!! I usually find that the real conversation starts after about 50 minutes! But it isn't all that practical - I'd never talk all that long for an international call (actually, I only make international calls in an emergency) and even from WA to SA my friend in Adelaide ends up tired because we talk in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.

So yes, these are great questions and could be very helpful.