I’ve been thinking about the dynamics that make for intellectually stimulating conversation. Obviously you need a minimum of two people who preferably have similar interests or similar intellect. Or, and here’s a daring thought, perhaps both each in equal measure! O_o. Honestly though, how often does that happen? That you meet someone who has similar interests to yourself, and on short acquaintancw you fnd them to be well informed, in possession of suitable communications skills and an ability to apply reason and logic to concepts so as to be capable of holding intellectually challenging conversation on some topic/s of common interest? Hardly ever, I say! Which is probably a reflection on my total apathy about participating in anything social that is likely to necessitate having conversations with new people, rather than a reflection of my current social circle.
While I’m at it…. Why is it that on those rare occasions that you find persons in possession of the attributes described above and a friendship/relationship forms, eventually those very conversations that originally forged the connection, seem to invariably lessen or even totally disappear altogether over time?? It sometimes seems that the closer or more familiar an acquaintance we have with people… the less stimulating or challenging your conversations with them will become. Is it because as acquaintance deepens with an individual we start to anticipate their opinions on various topics and therefore tend to discuss important or intellectually engaging topics with less frequency? Or is it that just when we’re meeting new people we’re spending our energies on discovering that new acquaintance’s values and opinions, which often necessitates the asking of challenging questioning which naturally leads to stimulating conversations??
I find when I meet new people we’re often ourselves encouraged to voice opinions (and draw them out of others) so we can gauge one another’s values etc and assess how (or if) their new input on various issues can perhaps challenge or convince us to reevaluate our own previously held contentions. I’m not entirely sure what causes it, but I have noticed a trend over the years that familiarity breeds… err, not contempt as popular idiom would have us believe, but certain levels of nonchalance, ambivalence or even apathy which sadly sees the dwindling of deep stimulating interactions. And with the rapid decline of these stimulating interactions the intellectually challenging conversations ends up swifty defenestrated.
I guess what I’m trying to say is – you might forge a friendship that starts out with interesting discussions on art, literature, history, science, psychology or what have you… but over time they seem to somehow dissipate into conversations over where the onus of responsibility lies in the toast making process or questions over who used the last of the toilet paper.
Update: Oh for crying out loud!!! I’m going to have to install some sort of sobriety test onto my PC to stop me from writing stuff in this journal when I’ve had a few drinks ontop of my medications !