sparking deep conversations

John “Avy” (@Avernus) 9 years, 2 months ago

I am wondering what you guys ask/mention/whatever to help get a deep conversation going and help keep it going? Those kinds of conversations that are interesting, intimate, fulfilling, thought-provoking, and leave you with a huge smile on your face even if it was uncomfortable at times.

I would like to have more times like this to deepen my relationships with others but I just don’t know what to say or how to say it. I’m not the most socially gifted and tend to keep to myself, but its time for change. Small talk is so un-satisfying especially when you can feel a sort of tension rising.

So what gets those awesome talks going for all you HEathens? Any help welcome :)

July 28, 2013 at 1:28 am
Hachi1 (21) (@SFHardy) 9 years, 2 months ago ago


For me, I’ve never thought about this, but it seems like I only ever have deep conversations with people I don’t know very well. With people I know, I talk without thinking, with people I don’t know, I think before I speak. This [rather obvious] observation suggests that thinking about what I say makes a conversation deeper.
Another point – generally I have deep conversations when it’s about a topic I enjoy and I expect it to be deep. e.g. I start randomly talking with a person I meet in the physics section of the library.

What I’ve just said is pretty obviously boring plain stuff but that’s all i can think of hahah.

Skytrumpet (2) (@sune) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

In my experience it’s not so much about asking or saying the right things, although interesting topics like philosophy or spirituality might be more facilitation than dull ones like gossip and small-talk, as it’s about talking to the right people. Usually the younger and wiser and more under influence the better. But most people just ain’t all that interesting really. Find the awakened few, and grab hold.

daniel (24) (@dany) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

If the person with whom you’re talking is interested in ‘deep conversations’ than i think things will flow naturally in that direction,on the other hand if you’re talking with people only interested in small-talk i think it will be hard to get them interested in different concepts.That doesn’t mean that you can’t try but in general most people are quite ignorant about this kind of discussion,perhaps if they are drunk it will be easier :D

You should say what you have on your heart and open discussion that interest you,who will have ears will listen and join,especially around new people.

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@Avernus, The type of conversation that I believe is most interesting and relevant is about psychology, namely things about cultural conditioning, cause and effect, motives for behaviour, methods of personal modification, self control and discipline.

Although things like spirituality, quantum physics and metaphysics have their links to this area, I don’t think they are especially relevant except in how such knowledge effects people. I am a lot more interested in logic, how people develop logic skills, what can alter or hinder the development of logical sensibilities.

I believe kindness and general empathetic behaviour can be arrived on and motivated by a well developed sense of logic, but also logic can stop our compassion from being too excessive, too excessive in the sense that we would love to do a number of things that we see are goodness but if we go to far with it then all our actual resources and abilities to do goodness begin to be threatened.

It is like this example; as a conscientious person, you would like to give all your money to charity, but if you do you will not be able to buy food and pay bills for yourself.

Or; the work you do saves lives, so you never rest because if you do people will die, but the tireder you get the more mistakes you make and your health deteriorates, so eventually you are not helping anyone, or not helping as well as you can, you are only harming yourself and not being efficient, you may end up killing yourself in which case you cannot help anyone at all.

Ideas that we inherently want to improve our own lives, but if you are ruthless in that pursuit you may harm others and make enemies, lose friends, so there is a logical balance where you gain for yourself but also be considerate to that around you, you have to create and maintain the environment that allows you to improve your life. That requires appropriate considerations and generosities to ensure your life has a smooth social and environmental function.

So conversations on these types of things are what really attract me and I think people can find most meaning in, but how to start and keep it going to explore it fully is not really something I know how to do, just that when a discussion is interesting it tends to take on its own life and perpetuate itself just on those merits.

James (16) (@jameswzup) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

The @Avernus, the right people in the right setting. If you don’t know how they take to deeper conversation, open up ideas in a group where you know the others are comfortable, or in a 1 on 1 situation.

To open up a new topic, I tend to ask a thoughtful (though often playful, just testing the water here) question about something being discussed in a shallow manner/from a narrow viewpoint. If responsive, I can decide to delve a bit deeper.

Not everyone wants to talk about the stuff that you want to. If your conversation is cut off or not responded to in the way you imagined, it’s not something to take offense over. Simply be aware and comfortable that it’s not a reflection on you.

Brandon P’naantan Pinkney (321) (@hlalhabattu) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

a truly deep conversation, for me at least comes purely reactively; in that I am almost never the one who prompts them, but someone else either asks for advice or seems like they are in dire need of a good conversation, then the universe takes over and the rest is history

josephm (772) (@josephm) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@Avernus, thing’s that have travelled through time by my side, hold’s a charge, and is broadly present in focus while perceiving me.

Emma (193) (@emmaclaire) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@Avernus, I love this.

I’m not the most socially gifted either. Honestly, I could have written your original post because it sounds exactly like something I wonder.

I have found that most people just aren’t interested.

BUT I have also had really deep, intelligent conversations with people I never would have expected, at times I never expected to have them.

This happened to me about a month ago. I was on an archaeological dig in Jordan with other students from the U.S. and Europe. It was our last day and we were filling rice bags with dirt to put into the squares we were digging in in order to keep the walls from collapsing. A friend I had only met a few weeks ago and I were sitting on a pile of dirt and filling the bags quietly, when all of the sudden, the girl was like “do you ever just want to run away from society?!” And I was like… YES. And then we had this long conversation about sustainability, culture, the destruction the human race is wreaking on the planet. It was so unexpected. The entire time the local Jordanian boys we had hired to help with the dig were watching us getting covered in dirt and doing manual labor (a concept that is no doubt really foreign to them), most likely getting turned on by our hair and bare arms and not understanding a word of what we were saying. Then one of them came over playing some stupid pop song on his phone and stood behind us, trying to impress us. When we didn’t respond he said “Justin Beiber.” apparently expecting us to get excited about the fact he was playing American music. The entire situation was fucking hilarious. Two people having an unexpected deep conversation surrounded by people who don’t understand and probably wouldn’t give a shit if they did.

I guess that’s what life is like, though. Small moments of deep connections that are gone, just like that. Cherish them when you find them, and don’t be afraid to instigate them, no matter how awkward it may be at first. It is always worth it.

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