Talking about sports, your kids, what’s good on TV these days… that’s pretty easy.
But having real conversations where you really get to know another person… way harder.
I recently bought a book called “How to Fall In Love With Anyone”. It’s by the author, Many Len Catron, who was known for her list of 36 questions that will make anyone fall in love with you. The idea is that there are discussion we can have, but that are hard, that can really allow you to know and come to love someone .. or at least really, really get to know them.
Some of the questions are pretty non-intimate but interesting: who would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?; others a little more personal: what is the greatest accomplishment of your life; and others that really push you: what is your saddest memory.
I was reminded of the importance of discussion like this recently when a friend and his wife split up after she had been having an affair. I was struck by his total inability to have a conversation that evoked emotions or allowed him process and deal with what he was going through. I was embarrassed that his reaction was so stereotypically male – he wanted to (i) get drunk; (ii) get laid and most importantly (iii) not talk about it.
It was a great reminder about how bad we are at having intimate conversations… really getting to know one another.
So, with friends, my wife and I have started to initiate these conversations… to make us all better at it. We tell one another our favourite things about each other. I had a super intimate conversation with a friend recently about the saddest each of us has ever been. And we talk about the things we each want more of in our lives. They are awesome and deep conversations. And I think we need more of them.