Writing 101 – June 2014 Challenge – Real World Conversation

In this blog posting, we are supposed to be writing about a “real” conversation we participated or overheard.   I put the word “real” in quotation marks because to me, the concept of real is hard to define.

When it comes to conversation we heard or participated in, real is marked by our own perceptions and interpretations.  What is real for me in terms of what was said in a conversation may be very different from another person’s interpretations.  That is a good reason why we may participate in the same conversation or hear the same speech from someone, but have very different ideas and understanding of what was meant.  The word “real” is a loaded word.  What is real?  Perceptions are often everything, and understanding can be very fluid depending on who is hearing and interpreting.

Anyways, with all those thoughts leading the way, I am revisiting a conversation that happened between a friend and myself at work today.  We are colleagues, and we have very different work styles and functions at work, but we have a friendship as well, developed from working directly and indirectly together over the past 4 years.

In our conversation today, we actually ended up in an argument.  I was arguing that she needed to be careful and that she was having difficulty with change in our department, and she was arguing that I was getting involved in something that was not my business.  I noticed quite quickly that we were both speaking past each other!  Nothing I said seemed to impact her, even though I was trying to approach it as friendly advice being given.  And for her part, I am sure she felt that I did need to mind my own business, and I was just sticking my nose into an issue that wasn’t even an issue for her.

It ended with us basically agreeing to disagree.  I know we are still friends, that is never in jeopardy.  But it is always challenging when you get into work disagreements with friends in the workplace.  Nobody likes to be 100% wrong.  And usually nobody is 100% right or 100% wrong, it’s a blend of the two arguments or two points.

Language and conversation can be difficult when people all perceive things in different ways.  Today’s conversation with a friend really made this point come home clearly to me.    And if it can be this nuanced and complex with friends, no wonder there is not clarity and world peace! 😛

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