Portion Size in Conversations with Dr. Peter Boghossian

Portion Size in Conversations with Dr. Peter Boghossian

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Problem: I like information. When I find myself in any sort of conflict with people I like it too much. In the book, “How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide,” Dr. Boghossian points out a number of things that I do poorly. On having difficult conversations, he writes:

“Most basic elements of civil discussion, especially over matters of substantive disagreement, come down to a single theme: making the other person in the conversation a partner, not an adversary. To accomplish this, you need to understand what you want from the conversation, make charitable assumptions about others’ intentions, listen, and seek back-and-forth interaction (as opposed to delivering a message). Learning to listen is the first step in the give-and-take of effective conversations. You’ll need to overcome the urge to say everything that’s on your mind. Finally, you’ll need to know when to end your conversation gracefully.”

God instructs us to season our words with salt (Colossians 4), and that’s hugely important, but it’s also important that we not force-feed people 10 tons of salted food. That’s very hard for me, as I tend to want to say everything that’s on my mind, convey everything I’ve researched, and then break down the conflict, too. 

Portion size matters, especially with words. 

With love, always,

My friendly signature.

—Luke

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