Circular conversations are those where people can engage with each other for minutes or hours at a time and get “no where”. Many people get trapped by circular conversations.
We have all been part of these conversations. Some as observers and others as participants. The implication of being circular is that statements wrap themselves around into themselves. At the end of your conversation, you end up right back at the beginning.
There are times when we are with others that we just need to unload what is inside of us. Our frustrations and our disappointments. In times like this, we do not look for solutions or different thinking but rather seek out the comfort that only a friend or loved one can provide.
Most times we want to share problems or difficulties with others. Feedback is offered. Suggestions are given by the dozen. Yet, somehow the conversation never changes.
A common answer for this problem is that you were not listening. They tried to tell you what might help and you ignored what they were saying. They blame you for always repeating yourself.
The funny thing is, that they may be right, especially after some time has passed and you return with the same type of issues in your life.
A deeper explanation is that I find most people not willing to learn. What do I mean by this? They are not willing to explore different ideas and different thinking. They become too quick to judge and can never see themselves executing what they are hearing.
The excitement of learning occurs when you begin to understand that through active learning you enter the world of possibilities. Possibilities have nothing to do with your past and have nothing to do with yesterday. Possibilities have everything to do with getting to a better or different tomorrow.
You can learn from everyone something. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing their passion for something that does not interest you and learning why it fascinates them. Other times, the feedback we get from others is very specific. We need to figure out what we can use and change within ourselves to overcome the obstacles or frustrations we face.
Circular conversations quickly destroy any opportunity to benefit from possibilities. Circular conversations deaden the heart and dulls our senses. It drains our enthusiasm for participating and working towards a better tomorrow.
It happens both personally as well as in larger groups. Circular conversations choke the excitement for life right out of us leaving us depressed, confused, and unsure.
Bring a ruler and an arrow the next time you find yourself in a circular conversation. Stop yourself immediately and bring out your ruler to draw a line in a direction and an arrow to remind you to end up somewhere further than where you are.
They may help save your life from always ending up in the same place.