The Art of Having A Conversation Amidst The World Wide Chaos
Milica JaricPublished in June 2020 / Updated in December 2020
There’s no way to avoid everything that’s going on in the world. However, often you need a break, and you need to feel like you need some sort of normalcy.
We all need to reset, but how? How do you keep conversation floating while it seems that the world’s falling apart?
The most important thing to do while we’re in the middle of the pandemic is to talk, yet to keep your sanity. At the same time, the world is rising against racism and other forms of discrimination.
You should be involved, and you should be part of making history. However, what’s more, important than anything else is that you keep your mind somewhat calm.
As I’ve been struggling with keeping up with current information while maintaining a somewhat healthy life, or at least life as I knew it, I’ve discovered ways to be proactive and remain safe. Here’s how:
There’s nothing more than a present moment. When I talk to my friends, family, everything else doesn’t matter. The deal is simple: we talk about our lives for a certain amount of time.
After, we can discuss issues that matter to the world. But, during those first 15, 20 minutes, it’s all about intimate things, part of what makes your life unique.
As for protests against racism, as a white person, my job is to listen and support. It’s not my time to shine. No, we shall not rewrite history. However, we should listen, talk, and share. We’re only humans, after all.
Susan RoAne has an OAR concept that involves observation (o), question (a: ask), and discovery (r: reveal). She refers to the dynamics of conversation that could be applied to any topic.
Notice something from the environment (or at all), start a conversation with a question, give your opinion. Quite a useful system for all those who already have difficulties in discussions.
This is an excellent way to continue talking, being in the moment, and overcoming social anxiety. And let’s face it, everything we’re going through made even the most resilient, a bit more anxious.
Enjoy The Silence
There are moments where you don’t have to say anything. When you’re with someone you know well, it’s easy to recognize when words are useless.
However, the real issues are in understanding those moments while you’re talking to a stranger.
Remember that talking and being silent together are very similar. The conversation should flow, but when you both feel a connection, you can just shut up and enjoy each other’s company.
Take A Day Off
Overwhelming is most likely the best word to describe 2020. The chaos from the outside world found its way to shake us to the core.
But, you can’t fix a thing, if you’re broken. And the only way to feel more like yourself is to take a day off.
Turn off your phone, don’t read or watch the news and make time for some TLC.
If you’re in the office now, there’s a big chance that everyone around has an opinion. But, here’s the thing: you can allow yourself not to be part of every conversation.
And what’s more important, people around should respect that you’re putting yourself first.
It’s Okay To Be Confused
Does anyone have all the answers to all the issues we are facing at this moment? No, and you cannot beat yourself up for feeling confused.
Sure, you know what’s right and what’s not. But you can support the right causes and the good people while removing yourself from certain, more confusing situations.
Instead of trying to understand everything, focus your energy on what you can do with less effort. Support small businesses, especially the ones owned by black women. They are strong, but only because they have to be.
You can’t save the environment by yourself. However, you should do your part by recycling, giving up consumerism, and gathering useful information for small changes.
As for COVID-19, you can protect yourself, to protect the first response workers. You may express gratitude, but at this moment, the best thing you can do for each doctor, nurse, firefighter, is to wear a mask and wash your hands simply.
We Will Get Through This
We didn’t get a chance to celebrate pride month, nor all of us can protest against racial discrimination. But, we can be grateful for one thing: despite all the chaos, we’re going somewhere.
It’s a storm outside, but every storm has its beginning and its end. Maybe it sounds too naïve, but the spirit of positivity is contagious.
The art of keeping a conversation alive is both helpful for your mind, and it’s admirable to listen to others and their experiences.
If you’re sad, say it. And if you’re tired, get some rest, but don’t be ashamed to tell your friends. Use your voice, make some noise, and others will follow. Then, it’s time to start a conversation all over again.