Yesterday's post about 60 something men and their conversational shortcomings engendered (no pun intended) a lot of wonderful conversation from several contributors. It was enlightening, to say the least, to read a male take on the tendency of men to need to sell themselves, to establish credentials with their hearers, and to rely on their hormones to give them the cues they need to develop relationships.
It was useful to hear this from presumably-credible males who did not seem to be making excuses or being defensive about their gender's attributes. A rich discussion which I hope will continue!
That said, while the post was percolating out there in the blogosphere, I was having coffee with a group of 60 something men and women from my congregation; this is a newly-begun, regular "koffee klatch" kind of thing and yesterday was our first meeting. It was the best conversation I have had for months! Nobody dominated; when one man went on a little too long, somebody else redirected, and the content of the conversation ranged from church matters to world peace.
At one point, I burst in and said "this is fabulous! This is one of the best conversations I've had in ages and I appreciate so much the ability of the people here to converse!" I went on to give a short synopsis of the "conversation" which inspired my previous post and the discussion veered into the same area-------what's the deal with conversation? Does it have anything to do with gender and innate characteristics? social expectations? personality? and what responsibilities do conversants have to one another?
After two hours of great conversation with a mixed group, I came home to find the responses to my post piling up, some of them confirming what the coffee group had said, some challenging it. But all rich and diverse and exciting!
If there's more to be said on this by my readers, I welcome it!