Have you ever had one of those conversations that gets to the core of your soul? Raw, but not brutal. Insightful without being preachy. A conversation that holds on so deeply that you are still thinking about it, even through your dreams? Yeah, those are about as rare as actual evidence of Bigfoot, but God damn, are they impactful!

There are two types of conversations: productive and counterproductive. I had both types yesterday, and on the extremes of the spectrum. My mind is all twisted from going from one extreme to the other, but I’d rather deal with ten shit conversations to keep the one amazing one.

Having a conversation with an alcoholic about their drinking is about as counter productive as you can get. They spin lies and bullshit to prevent from having to deal with the truth. “Oh, it’s this…. Oh, it’s just that…” They instantly get defensive, refusing to see the truth. They know the truth in their head, but their heart does not want to admit they have failed at controlling their drinking. You might as well punch your self in the face and stable your ball sack (if you have one) to your inner thighs because that is less painful than trying to convince an alcoholic they have a drinking problem and to seek treatment.

On the extreme opposite site of the spectrum, I had a conversation that lasted, off and on, throughout the evening and into the night. It was one that sought to shine light on truths we didn’t see or want to acknowledge (on both sides), but it was done with a loving care that was not confrontational. When you know the advice and words are coming from a place of genuine concern and love, it is easier to accept those person’s words as helpful. Sometimes, a person just needs to hear the words, just to confirm what they already know to be true. Guilt and doubt can creep in, and if someone is there to reassure you, it can make all the difference.

If everyone had the mindset of 80% listen 20% talk when having a conversation, we would not have all of these problems in the world. We cannot fix the world, but we can fix ourselves and influence others to do the same by example. A conversation should be about sharing ideas and views, without judgement to gain perspectives outside of our own.

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