What’s in a Chat?

Before we talk about the soul, I want to share this story about communication:
A colleague told me about this friend of hers, a man about 42, who had just figured out something really important about his wife. He said when they got married, he was really excited. She was perfect. Everything was exceeding his wildest expectations. Then she began wanting to have these conversations about their relationship. At first he was really concerned and listened closely. After all, maybe he had missed something. But pretty soon he realized that these conversations weren’t actually about a particular problem. It was highly annoying, but he tried to indulge her and be polite.

Over the years, these “conversations” persisted. He thought for while that if he could just endure a really big one, they would only have to talk about their relationship once a year or so. No such luck. His wife consistent need to chatter on about the state of their relationship persisted.

Then one day, he figured it out. All those talks about the relationship were the relationship.

Moral of the story: To have a relationship you need to talk. Talking, really discussing, takes two; listening, really hearing, takes two. It doesn’t have to be too often, but it’s important to check in verbally when things are good – because when they stop going well, you have more of a base to draw on. That foundation is the key to co-creating life rather than living comfortably on two separate tracks, toggling back an forth instead of journeying together.


About Dana Carmichael

Dana has a professional interest in Authentic Intellectual Work. This means focusing on improving intellectual quality in the classroom and increasing student engagement. By day, she does this work with a passion. By night, she is a thematic reader, examining a random essential question for the year through fiction, nonfiction, film and general random conversations.
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