New Year, New Conversation

Are you ready for the resolution? Neither am I. We all know that it’s bullshit. It’s an arbitrary day that has no intrinsic merit or importance in the scheme of things. We go to bed on December 31st and wake up on January 1st, expecting to be magically transformed. Well, that’s true if you’re old like me and go to bed at 10:00 pm.

But seriously, the consumption economy tells us we are going to experience a life-changing transformation overnight. With no work involved. Effortlessly. By popping a pill. Or drinking a shake. Or buying a treadmill. Or buying a belt that squeezes your abs for you. There’s literally no reason for it but we still buy the lie, year in and year out. Of course, I’m sure it has nothing to do with gym memberships relying on January as a month for increased revenue…

This new conversation is something you’re going to have with yourself someday and that day may be January 1st. It may not be. It may be August 14th for all it matters. The reality is that you’re reading this at exactly the right moment to begin changing how you speak, both to yourself and to others.

You’re reading this at exactly the right moment to begin changing how you speak

The title of this article is deceptive, however, because I have two meanings here: how you speak to yourself and others, but a deeper one too. We need to talk about how we talk about our problems.

So, you wanna do the easy stuff first? Sure. You want to be a better communicator. Of course you do. It means you’ll get the date, get the yes, get the sale, get the offer, get the promotion, get the pay bump, get the smile, get the outcome you want. Being a better communicator does that. Truly. Well, you can become better by having better conversations, both with yourself (duh) and with others.

Let’s use a recent conversation I had with a person on Instagram.

Content can lead to intense levels of eye-rolling.

What Not to Do

Sigh. Where do I begin? First of all, I can tell you that sending me a message on Instagram is probably not going to be a great tactic. I do answer my DM’s but it takes time, sometimes days. If you want a session, you should click here and I’ll hook you up with an appointment. Second, I mean… *gestures to ALL of the thread* did you read it? It was just bad. I mean, the whole “dear”, “my lady”, and “I shall” felt so desperate, so fake. If I was a potential partner at an event, store, bar, and that was his 30 second elevator pitch, he would probably have gotten the shaft. Pun intended.

If I was a potential partner at an event, store, work-place or bar, and that was his 30-second elevator pitch, he would probably have gotten the shaft. Pun intended.

But seriously, don’t speak to women like this. Just. Don’t. Do it. We’re not characters in a movie. We’re people, just like you’re people. We don’t generally respond well to language out of Game of Thrones. Of course, I can tell you for a fact that the dude was talking that way for one simple reason: He doesn’t know better. He may have had luck with those phrases, that cadence, that style of talk in the past, but again, for how long? If it had worked well for him, would he be hitting on me on a Sunday night?

He just doesn’t know better. Sadly, that’s true for a lot of us. We want to make that connection to someone but damn, we just don’t know a better way.

They Have to Matter to You

You want to have a New Year, New You? Start with a New Conversation.
If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

The Big Idea

Speak to that potential partner, client, customer, friend, cohort, boss, family member as a real person who matters to you. Did you catch that? They have to matter to you. Even for the moment, for the sole conversation.
They have to matter to you.
That means using real language that’s honest, transparent, and authentic. I 100% guarantee you that dude does not speak to his commanding officer or the cashier at the grocery store with “I shall try, my lord.”

Don’t put on a front. It’s sad. It’s pathetic. It’s a waste of your partner’s time. It’s you cheating yourself out of the chance to be truly seen and appreciated.

But that gets into a whole other conversation about vulnerability and fear. Slowly, youngling.

Want Some Cheese with that Wine?

The second conversation we need to have is about how we’re talking about our problems. The way we talk to ourselves is one of our deepest, most ingrained human behaviors. It’s right up there with how we breathe, how we walk, how we hold a spoon, how we chew our food, how long we make eye contact.

We are taught to speak to ourselves in specific ways based on how we’re socialized (raised). If we grow up hearing people speaking kindly and honestly, then that’s how we speak to them, and in turn, to ourselves when no one is watching. If we grow up with people using dark humor, morbid jokes, defensive language, disparaging words, and being just mean (which is adapted trauma response), then that’s how we speak to others, and ourselves. I know. I used to be that way for decades.

Your problems are simply that: problems. Each one has a solution built into it. I have full faith you can find it. But sitting around bitching about how bad your life is, how the girl ignored you, how you didn’t get the job, how you missed the boat, the bus, the flight, the chance is a waste of your time.

Each time you complain about something, you’re telling your subconscious that it’s true. Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are right. It’s a basic truth. You can change your inner dialogue and you will change your life. I promise.

If you want a NYNY, you have to stop it. I don’t mean stop dead cold. I mean stop the behavior and then start a different one. For more help on changing habits and behaviors, read Atomic Habits. This book. Holy crap it has changed my life. I am on my 3rd go round with it. It’s monumentally helpful and frankly, a fun read. Snaps to you, James Clear, if you ever read this.

My point, dear ones, is this: we’re better than this. We can speak to ourselves and others in ways that build bridges, connections, commonalities. We can start seeing more smiles, hearing more chuckles, seeing more head-nodding, getting more yeses, and feeling more accepted if we start speaking with authenticity and honesty. Put yourself out there. Rejection cannot hurt you if you’re always returning to your own loving arms.

Let’s Be Better.

~ N

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