Thought Provoking Questions
  by Adele Gould Deep Thought Provoking Questions – So What’s the Big Deal? If there was an Association for People Who Appreciate Deep Thought Provoking Questions,  I would be a card carrying member – if not the president. I am famous (alright let’s call a spade a spade: notorious) in my circles for the way in which I engage with people when meeting them for the first time. My family and friends regard my actions with more than a modicum of amusement, which fascinates me somewhat since it all feels perfectly normal to me. Let me place on record that I don’t besiege unsuspecting innocents in my path with my array of personal or thought provoking questions. I tread carefully and only initiate deep conversation if I sense that the person is comfortable communicating in this way. That being said, I cannot deny that it is one of life’s truths that I hate small talk (see I Hate Small Talk)  and love deep conversation, because for me, life is all about the connections we make with others along the way, and one of the ways we achieve this is through deep philosophical exchanges and/or discussions. Let’s face it - we all love talking about ourselves, especially when addressing someone who is really listening and interested, so as a listener, it is not that difficult for me to steer the conversation, using appropriate questions. Although I include in my repertoire your run-of-the-mill, how-are-you, glad-to-meet-you types of questions, it doesn't take long for me to progress to the next level. As a social worker in my former life it was my job to ask questions, so I'm no ...
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I Hate Small Talk!
Why do I hate small talk? I’ll get straight to the point and illustrate  by way of an example. It goes something like this ‘Hello, Ma’am. How are you today?” asks the caller, whose name appears on my call display as “unavailable”.  The hairs at the back of my neck point north as I kick myself for answering, thus defeating the purpose of having call display. How am I? she asks – as if she cares two hoots. Whose bright idea was it to instruct telemarketers to inquire after our well-being? “I’m Fine” I say dismissively, leaving an uncomfortable silence where the  “ … and how are you?”  would normally go.  As she proceeds to recite her telemarketing lines I interrupt with an annoyed “No thank you” and move to replace the receiver … but not before I hear her disembodied voice politely telling me to ‘have a nice day’. How am I?  Have a nice day? When did these phrases seep into our communication with absolute strangers? I’m not good at making small talk. Maybe that’s why I hate it – or is it the other way around?  Either way, it can be a bit of a problem, since it follows us everywhere.  Being out and about in the world requires that we engage in chit-chat with sundry people we encounter along the way   … fleeting exchanges about nothing in particular.  What is Small talk? The definition of small talk says it all:  Small talk involves conversation about matters of unimportance. It is one of society’s ice-breaking techniques ... talk starters ...  fillers of empty pockets of time. And oh! empty pockets of time abound!  ...
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