Tag Archives: conversation

Farewells and goodbyes

Live is very controversial, I think everything-, every situation-, everybody- got a good and a bad site. Even when it’s hard to see sometimes.

Last week was hard, very hard and many tears have flown when I had to say my farewells and goodbyes to all the lovely people I’ve met and got to know in Qatar.  

I’ve been through this already a couple of times and I know there are a lot of people which I will never see again and people I might meet again. Inshallah. The funny thing is though you never know exactly who. People you considered as good friends, you might never hear from and people who where, kind of random, might keep in contact. Some people are good in keeping contact by writing and social media, some people don’t. However the connection will change when there’s no live contact. 

Keeping contact is harder when you don’t share the same live or know the same people and have similar experiences you can compare and share. Actually it is a simple communication thing; In a normal communication, partner 1 tells something and partner 2 listens and can react. In case you don’t share experiences it’s a tell and listen and there’s not much possibilities of a reaction so you can’t say it’s a conversation. Most people are not interested in having a conversation about things they can’t relate to and cannot respond. 

Another thing is that not many people have the curiousity or fantasy to imagine what the other partner is talking about. And even if partners do have situations, people and topics they’re both familiar with, these people, situations and topics have changed in time aswell but the memory didn’t change. 

It’s easier to keep in contact with the people you are used to chat with then the people you had serious conversations with. My children are already much more used to the chatter way of communication. As soon as they wrote they where going to the Netherlands all kind of old friends popped up and got in contact again. 

I’ve cried a lot this week and for sure it was sad but I’m also very happy that I’ve got reasons to shed those tears. That there are so many people in my live worth to shed those tears for. 

Farewells and goodbyes are a very intens part of the transition fase in culture shock. It’s also a very important step in the transition you should take, how painfull that might be. Those goodbyes and farewells make you become aware of all the people and big and little situations you value and care for. Knowing what you value for, makes it easier to find new people and create new situations you feel comfortable with.

This time it was me saying my goodbyes. In the expat life though it happens more often that the people leave whom I valued as a part of my life and I’m the one who’s left behind. That’s much harder as you have to make a familiar situation comfortable again without the person who has left.

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Listening

When we talk we share knowledge
when we listen we learn

For me, going out for diner is a cultural event. I love to see the connection between people on other tables; the different conversations in groups, the focussed conversations between business men, the non conversations between couples, or -like last night the twittering conversation between a group of women. (Twitter is a real good name for that medium) the ladies just talked, almost all at the same time and didn’t seem to expect an answer. To me it looked like nobody was listening to what the other said.
It triggered me and I realised that there’s a difference between hearing and listening; Hearing is the physical part of listening, listening is the psychological part or the part where the brain comes in.

I looked up some facts for you;

– Only a quarter from what you hear will be heard.
– By listening you show interest in a person; you show interest/respect in the words someone says and the thoughts (s)he has.
– Listening is part of communication; only when there is a speaker AND a listener you can have a conversation and a connection between two people.
– You can listen to -4X  more- words then speak, which means that there is space in your head for other thoughts, like how to react.  As soon as you’re thinking about how to react you get busy; remembering how to react and waiting for the time you can put in your reacting. You’ll be so busy, you forget to listen to the rest of what’s being said.
– In some languages listening is another word of obeying, like when parents say to the children “you’re not listening to me” they actual mean you’re not obeying me.
– Most people seem to like talking specially about themselves much more than listening.

It’s hard for me to believe that those ladies last night had a conversation, yet there must be a form of communication and sharing some information. Sometimes it has to do with the language, in some languages the most import information of a sentence is given in the beginning of the sentence, so you can start thinking without really missing any information. I think I would like that too. On the other hand, people will never get heard or have the feeling of being listened to and – valued.

Now, knowing how hard it is to listen, even in your own language and in your own culture. I realise how much miscommunication must occur when having a conversation with someone in another language and culture.

I like to challenge you to really listen to somebody else; repeat after your partner has finished speaking what (s)he said. and then focus on the answer you like to give.
I would love to hear your experiences.

IFGAblogperson