There’s a common saying that “one can learn something from everyone.” I didn’t truly understand it until recently.
Before, I found it hard to speak to people who had different interests from my own or weren’t as driven to do things. On the other hand, it was very easy for me to talk to people who were driven to make things or interested in psychology, business, and technology.
I thought my interests were wide enough that I should be able to have a conversation with anyone. I was wrong. I didn’t truly care about sports, music or other parts of popular culture. I still don’t to some extent.
What I’ve changed my mind about is having conversations about those topics. Instead of framing the conversation about a certain song, sport’s game, or news event, I take a broader lens and ask the person on the other side about what they think.
So let’s say someone’s really interested in Football and loves the Patriots. Instead of talking about the last Patriots game I ask them about their opinions about Bill Bellicheck, Tom Brady, and the overall organization. What they think about the NFL and whether they actually watch games every Sunday for 3-hour chunks.
Realizing that I don’t need to talk about last week’s game was a revelation for me. It’s made dinner parties and small talk much more bearable!