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August 06, 2019
How to Have a Good Conversation; Part Three
My two granddaughters on Easter morning, 2019.
Yes, they are sisters.
"There is no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me." Lady Mary Montagu
Don't interrupt. Keep your own stories short, so that people don't have to interrupt to change the course of the conversation.
Don't contradict another person's story. The unnecessary details of whether it was a Ford or a GM doesn't really contribute to the story.
Don't bring up topics or ask questions of which there are no answers. For example, "Do you think black holes will ever consume the universe?" You come across as a pedant when you do this. Besides, topics like this are not of general interest.
My apple blossoms, Spring 2019.
Don't exaggerate or embellish. Tell the truth.
Don't leave other people out. Try to include others by asking them open-ended questions, especially people new to the group.
Be tactful. You don't have to tell your nephew that his sixteen tattoos look disgusting.
If you can't remember all these rules, just practice the Golden Rule. (Treat people the way you want to be treated.) Practice this one rule and you will have more great fulfilling conversations/relationships than you can fit into a twenty-four hour day!
Whatever Is True
Are you struggling with anger, bitterness and resentment?
Do you have a little book where you write down every offense that has come your way, and reread it on a daily basis just to keep your blood temperature up?
Some of these things might be in your book.
Every year for your birthday, your mother takes you to Cracker Barrel. She has done it for the last thirty years. It is so boring, and you hate that place. You can't even drive by Cracker Barrel without feeling irritation creeping into your heart.
Your boss has messed up your paycheck three pay periods in a row. He makes you so furious, you can't even eat breakfast before going to work.
Now, let us not get started on your mother-in-law! You have pages in your little book about her. You are convinced she does things just to upset you,---and it does, every time.
And that toddler of yours; their daily tantrums make you have one worse than theirs.
Can you imagine a toddler being in control of your emotions?
You are responsible for your own feelings and emotions. No one can make you do anything you don't want to do.
Happiness is a choice.
Joy is a choice.
You can choose gratitude and gratefulness today, right now.
Throw the book of resentment and bitterness away and start a ''Think on These Things'' book.
(The basic concept I have written here comes from Henry Brandt's ''Cleaning Up the Inside'' audio on YouTube.)
Use grocery sacks as free paint tray liners.
Idea stolen from Matthew Aardsma.
My morning glories, Summer 2018.