Intelligent conversation is one of life's pleasures. I love nothing better than to engage in conversation with someone who has ideas to share, different perspectives, and is interesting. An intelligent conversation is food for the brain. All too sadly not everyone can carry on an intelligent conversation. This has less to do with their intelligence quotient (IQ) than with their emotional quotient (EQ). Only a self-aware, self-confident person with excellent social skills has the ability to engage in intelligent conversation.
Intelligent conversation happens when people come together with a win/win attitude, don't try to change anyone's opinion, and is open to new ideas. Intelligent conversation is the bridge to greater understanding. People engage in intelligent conversation for no other reason but to explore, discover, and learn. There is no other agenda.
People who struggle with, or cannot hold, an intelligent conversation come with an agenda. They want to thrust their ideas onto others, get their point across, and will resort to personal attacks if necessary. They come with a win/lose mentality and are not interested in learning and discovering. His or her idea is the only one that matters, and anyone who doesn't agree is a threat. Intelligent conversation with these types of people is impossible and dangerous.
There are times when we can be in the middle of what we think is an intelligent conversation and discover that we are not. Don't try to deal rationally with such a person. It won't work. Their only concern is themselves and their ideas. If they feel threatened in anyway, they will attack. The best thing you can do is remove yourself from the discussion. It is possible to continue the conversation. Just now it won't be an intelligent one.
Don't assume everyone wants an intelligent conversation. There are people who are not capable. That doesn't mean that you won't be able to converse with them. It just means that the conversation will be shallow and meaningless, which can be all right at times. Not every conversation has to be enlightening.
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