Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Old Friends, New Acquaintances

It's been an eventful week for me. 

The week kicked off with a 4-day conference. Whereby I crossed paths with plenty of old friends, as well as getting to know interesting new people.

Then, on Friday night, I had a grand anniversary reunion with my old work mates. Blast from the past. Nostalgia. Good times.

Survivors of the torture chamber of '08
Talk Is Deep

And by the weekend, I was exhausted.

Socialising can really drain you mentally and emotionally. Not from the idle chatter, but the deep meaningful conversations.

It takes a lot of patience to listen and understand someone you've only met for the first time. And when you're talking, you need to adjust your speech and voice in a manner that the person can listen and understand you in return.

Making conversation is like a dance. You can't get too close or twirl like a figure skater right from the get-go. Otherwise, you'll be stepping over each other's feet, or worst, get in trouble with security.

The same is true for friends you're reacquainting after years of radio silence. People change. Information needs updating. Even an innocent question like "How the's missus and kids doing" may prove awkward - the person might have just barely scrapped through a painful divorce.

Talk is Detox

And if you're not careful, talk can turn toxic. Gossips. Rumour-mongering. Bitching about other people.

I avoid conversations fueled with negativity. I don't wish to be part of spreading lies or misinformation. I'm not a hater.

So does that make me boring? Not at all.

I like to talk about your dreams. Your aspirations. What gets you up in the morning. What's the latest exciting thing you did.

Sometimes, I may probe into sensitive areas, bordering on provocation. Like asking "how you enjoying work so far?" And if the person lapses into an uncomfortable silence, I'll press with "which part of work don't you enjoy?" No, it's not because I'm silently rejoicing in your misfortune. I'm genuinely trying to help.

Maybe I'll throw in anecdotes of my own personal horror stories. Maybe I'll give some advice. Or maybe I can even offer leads to job opportunities.

Good Talk, Bad Talk

Ultimately, it's been a rather fulfilling week due to the positive connections and re-connections made.

Here's a toast to old friends, and new acquaintances. To the happy memories of the past, and to happier moments in the future.

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