Do you give good voice? Can you talk about anything—or, more importantly, nothing—with humor, charm, and appeal? If so, you’re blessed, because for you there will never be any of those awkward chasms that can open up in the middle of a conversation, swallowing up your hopes for a fascinating exchange like so many tossed rocks. Unfortunately, the art of conversation doesn’t come easily for everybody Some of us are shy or reserved; others blather on incessantly about everything from our impending bankruptcy to the butt boil our cousin got down in Mexico.
Is this conversation? Maybe yes, maybe no. If the person you’re talking to is just as enthusiastic about butt boils as you are, then you’re fine. But if they’re squirming uncomfortably while you launch into the gory details of the lancing, then that’s not so much a conversation as an exercise in torture. Why? Because a good conversation is a partnership.
Whether our civility has been sacrificed at the altar of cyberspace or has been swapped out for that all-too-necessary second parental income, it’s evident that consideration for others is diminishing with time. According to a survey of 847, 81 percent felt society was far more uncivil today than it was twenty years ago, citing lack of respect, lack of consideration, lack of patience, callousness, selfishness, and intolerance for others as the prime culprits.