On The Bricks

March 6, 2019

The Toastmasters magazine, November 2018, article on How to Have a Better Conversation is what I shared from last column. There’s more. And it’s also interesting!

Fear is an obstacle to engaged listening. “For some time, social scientists have struggled to understand why we avoid in – person contact and face – to – face conversations. As a social species, conversation is beneficial for us. Regular in – person socialization can extend your lifespan, strengthen your immune system, and stave off depression and heart disease. So why do people stare at their phones … and avoid making eye contact with others?

“When researchers forced people to start conversations with strangers on trains, in waiting rooms, and at coffee shops, the participants ended up enjoying themselves. They also reported they were no less productive than if they’d kept to themselves. And yet, when these subjects were asked if they would start more conversations in the future, most answered no.

“We get in the way of our own enjoyment and well – being. A recent study showed that oftentimes, we are so caught up worrying about saying the right thing or being witty, we don’t notice that the other person is enjoying our company. We tend to underestimate how much other people like us. We’re stuck in our own heads, afraid we will say the wrong thing.

“While we obsess about what we’re saying and how we’re coming off, we don’t have time to really pay attention to what another person is saying. Sadly, this is also what prevents us from engaging in conversation in many circumstances: our fear that we’ll say the wrong thing or be judged negatively by the other person. That means the first step to listening well and enjoying a good conversation is to let go of your fear.

“Rest assured that the vast majority of conversations you have, whether they be with a loved one or an acquaintance, will lift your mood, engage your mind productively and improve your health.”

We have a lot of people running for the City Council election. Each one of them has faced the fear of losing, faced the fear of speaking in public, faced the fear of potentially being in front of the camera for people to watch. I applaud every single one of them for stepping out. And for those who are stepping out because they would like to be active in planning for our community’s future … I applaud you even more. It isn’t easy and we need to be kind to those who do it. We also need to vote and be a part of the decisions being made for the community we live in. Register to vote, if you haven’t. The last day to get this done is March 8 to be able to vote in the April City Council election. We need to have a better voter turnout.

March 9 is the Ready Group at the First Christian Church, 9 am. Here is a business, Brown and Associates, that cooks for those who attend and schedules a program that is relative to retired individuals. Another way to be involved in our community and to continue learning.

March 9 is also the running of the Livin’ Green Race.

March 11 is a soccer tournament at Fowler Park under the direction of Geraldine Sanchez. She has a fascinating story on how she got involved doing this. She was never a soccer player, but saw a need in our community. Wow. That impresses me.

On March 16 the Rose Garden Club has another Recycling Conversation at the Main Street Guymon office. Come in and learn more about the recycling opportunities we have in Texas County.

I’ll see you on the bricks!