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Real Talk Not Small Talk

Real Talk Not Small Talk

Does anyone out there enjoy “small talk?” The perfunctory, socially correct Q&A or discussion of the weather. I actually get irritated with “small talk.” I’d much rather be at a social event and introduce myself to a stranger with, “Hi, I’m Valorie. When was the last time you were truly inspired by something or someone?” Or, “Hi I’m Valorie. What’s the last great book you read?”

If you’re in agreement let’s play conversation. “Hi, I’m Valorie… (pick a question(s) and share your response. Feel free to add a question of your own.)

1. What do you love about your dorkiest self?

2. If you could throw a word and it’s meaning out of the English language, what word would it be and why?

3. Are you more interested in being liked or respected? Do your actions support this statement?

4. If you couldn’t use your phone or internet for the week, what would you accomplish?

5. If you could change careers, what would you do?

6. What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made? Have you forgiven yourself and truly let it go?

7. What country—other than your current one—would you want to live in and why?

8. If you had one super power, what would it be?

9. What’s the greatest compliment you would give yourself?

10. Do you believe that leaders are made or born?

Good conversations inspire intrigue. Good conversations make you think about your own understanding of the world. Good conversations expose perspectives to you that were previously opaque. At best, small talk acts as a social courtesy. Let’s skip the chit chat and aspire to a more thoughtful and deeper understanding of each other and ourselves.

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Betsy
Betsy
4 years ago

3. I want to be liked and respected. I don’t say that lightly; I grappled with this question a lot in my career in publishing and now in teaching. In my mind, they are very related. I can’t think of any people that I like but don’t respect and maybe very few that I respect but don’t really like. When we work with people, we often spend a LOT of time with them–how much better that is if we like each other! At the same time, if I’m not earning respect, I’m probably doing something wrong–as a professional or simply… Read more »

Lena Pierson
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

Betsy and Miss Val,
Your responses got me pondering some more on this subject. Perhaps “being liked” comes with “respect” only when we are ready to see both as two sides of the same coin. I know that personally I wasn’t always able to. There were many moments when I didn’t like my parents/mentors/teachers/coaches. Only as I got older I was able to recognize that being taken outside my comfort zone was a good thing!

A Renee
A Renee
4 years ago

Hi, Valorie, I’m A Renee! What an intriguing question… the worst mistake I’ve ever made. In all honesty, the worst mistake I’ve ever made (up to this point) was allowing my peers (at the age of 13 after the year of my Bat Mitzvah) to frustrate me to the point that I voluntarily left my temple and never made it to confirmation. Have I forgiven myself and truly let it go? No. I have not forgiven myself and I don’t know that I ever will. Perhaps that is okay in this case. The memory of and disappointment in that decision… Read more »

A Renee
A Renee
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

Miss Val, wow! I never even considered that as an event we could change. Imagine what a different world it would be! It would be fascinating to see a religious studies class address the idea… or perhaps you could write about it and create a play or a movie with your own personal thoughts on the matter.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
4 years ago
Reply to  A Renee

A Renee…GREAT idea!!! Your next project awaits you Val!!! 😉

Kelli
Kelli
4 years ago
Reply to  A Renee

A Renee, I really like your posts. You are someone I would enjoy hanging out and talking with.

Kelli
Kelli
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

Yes! Santa Clara is less than 2 hours from here and I’d LOVE to hang!

Katelyn Ohashi
Katelyn Ohashi
4 years ago

1. What do I love about my dorkiest self?
Even if I don’t make other people laugh I make myself laugh!

Maria Caire
Maria Caire
4 years ago
Reply to  Katelyn Ohashi

you never fail to make me laugh kate — your laugh is contagious !! xxxx

Kelli
Kelli
4 years ago
Reply to  Katelyn Ohashi

Katelyn, you’re adorable and you make me laugh

jill hicks
jill hicks
4 years ago

the greatest compliment that i would hope to give myself………… is that i loved well

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

I second this Jilly!! <3

Kaitlin Reid
Kaitlin Reid
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

Yes. Yes you do Jill. Actually, you both do.

Madison Kocian
Madison Kocian
4 years ago

If I couldn’t use my phone or internet for a week, I would get my homework done and have time for myself. I would get a chance to relax and do the things I want.

Erin Reen
Erin Reen
4 years ago

I have been discussing the career question lately and I i have since decided to change direction and become a speech pathologist!

Also if i could live anywhere else it would be the UK because i absolutely love studying their history.

Marie Wiles
Marie Wiles
4 years ago

My superpower would be to heal those who are deeply hurt in their inner beings – broken hearts ? and spirits that desperately feel like nothing can ever heal them.

Pam T
Pam T
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

I am currently at the point in my life where I actually get to change my “career” as a stay at home mom to my children, so I am choosing my path right now and will have to get back to you when I find my way.

Scott Shields
Scott Shields
4 years ago
Reply to  Pam T

It’s never too late to start writing or directing films Miss Val! The movie industry is in desperate need of strong, character driven films that tell stories, not just blow things up. There are a lot of books on the subject, and you have the TFT department at UCLA and you live in LA!

Terese Chiames Caire
4 years ago
Reply to  Pam T

If I could live in another country other than the US, I think I would live in either Switzerland or France. The countries are absolutely beautiful and clean. I love the cultures, the architecture, the food, the art. I would like that I can walk everywhere. I would like shopping at the market and farmer’s market daily for fresh foods. I would enjoy that I could travel around Europe so easily. I love how the Europeans think. Sometimes I feel like us Americans live to work. Europeans work to live. They enjoy life more. The older I am getting the… Read more »

Laurie
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss Val

If you do, can I come help run it? I’ll be your administrator and help teach the little kids classes. I miss being in a dance school!

Amy Erickson
Amy Erickson
4 years ago

5. If you could change careers, what would you do?

If I weren’t a teacher, I’d either be a marriage and family therapist or a pilot. I’d love to do both one day, although I do love my current job, and I can’t quite stomach the idea of going back to school right now.

Miss Val, what would YOU do? 🙂

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