Deep Conversations: Expectations vs. Reality


Another Tuesday is closing down and the sparrow is chasing the clock to deliver on that Tuesday blogging commitment- Lawda merceh!

Today I write about the need for us to stop our-on-the-surface conversations like the weather and random how are you-s and instead dive deeper into having a genuine interest in the life of the person next to you.

The end goal is for you to build a village or community that will hold your hand as you journey through life.

I have heard this quite a lot out there probably you have too: “Your network is your net worth.It is true.

Here is what I do generally when I meet a person for the first time and this is what I will classify as Expectation…

I am the day’s MC at a function and have backstage banter with random people before the action starts. This is easing my nerves too.

This lady whose name I can’t recall walks to me and says; “oh hiii Joy! I love your boots soo cute!”

I throw back a hahahaha and a thank you while quickly scanning her outfit too to find a response to her ‘greeting.’

I go, “gosh! That is lovely hair, what products do you use. I lie: Mine won’t just get tamed...”

This dry conversation prematurely ends with both of us awwing and lying to ourselves that it was nice meeting us.

This is what we do when strangers or even those close to us start conversations with us. It is also expected that when I ask how you are, your response is automatically a fine.

Lately, this is being edited to I am well, good good, kawa, cool, and all the rest you say.

I have worked in different places and I have also written countless job applications but the closest I have reached is finals and gotten countless we shall get back to you-s.

All these jobs have been through my network. This person knows someone who knows someone who needs my skill set and that is how I get recommended. It is a chain of sorts.

This brings me to what real conversations should be like if we are to build strong communities. The Reality

This talk is inspired by Dream Big, a book by ‘Bob Goff’. I know I mentioned it already in this blog. I am still getting more lessons.

This is what he says;

We all spend a lot of time talking about surface things with each other. I get why. A cocktail of fear and politeness and insecurity keeps us there. If we’re going to carve a new groove in our brains and go Grand Canyon on them, we’re going to need to start doing a few things differently. We need to stop hiding behind our appearances and titles and accomplishments and successes. Keep this in mind: if you take away what you’re known for, whatever is left is who you are. Let’s be the kind of people who are more interested in who someone is instead of what they do.”

If I was to dive deeper with that lady behind the stage I would have told her about the terrible night I had that week.

I would have told her that I had just moved my toddler from my room to hers and that she had cried herself red and called out for me and pleaded and clung onto my legs and begged I don’t leave her but it had to be done. It was a necessary transition.

I had beaten myself up and cried so hard through the night for being a bad mom after that incident and didn’t expect her to talk to me the next day but she hugged me and we talked about the night. I apologized, reminded her that I love her and the next night she was okay sleeping on her own and it was all history- a new chapter.

This required me to be vulnerable to a stranger, to let her see me for me. A person with fears, love, ambitions, failures, etc. I was not ready. I am learning.

I will never know that lady’s story or her name. And who knows what opportunities passed me by right there.

I know you relate. You are me. I am you. We feel safe on the surface, offshore is scary and uncomfortable.

Goff challenges us to have 12 real conversations each day. You will find your specimen on a bodaboda, in taxis, in queues, at your office, in church, in your own home. Your children too…

He says to start with the fourth, fifth, and the sixth question rather than how are you, which team do you support, what do you do for a living… Try these;

  • Who are you?
  • What are the things you want in life?
  • How is really going?
  • What was your high and low this week/month/year?
  • When was the last time you felt so lonely?
  • When was the last time you laughed so hard that you peed on yourself?

All these are great conversation starters. You just need to figure out how to start otherwise if you just throw any around, expect nothing but awkwardness!!

Cultivating a community is not just a way to avoid loneliness. It is the method we use to interpret our own lives. If you have a solid community, grow it and let other people join in. Don’t be an exclusive clique for a few; be a gathering for many. They need community as much as you.

Know your beliefs, understand them. Devote yourself to them. Then take all that and make it your ambition to be part of a loving community.

Closing remarks and my challenge to you:

If you ask a stranger a considerate, authentic, and engaging question and are willing to match or exceed the vulnerability you’re pursuing, you will be absolutely amazed at the depth and richness you’ll discover just below the surface of their life.

Do it with someone today. It’ll blow both of you away.

The path to deep conversations is going to require a new level of authenticity with yourself and interest in the people around you. Keep it real with each other and with God. Jesus didn’t have a problem with people who were confused or discouraged; He just wanted people to be authentic.He will take real over confident any day.

Cheers to deeper conversations and to authentic communities. Just do it afraid!

Till next Tuesday,

I am the Sparrow.

23 thoughts on “Deep Conversations: Expectations vs. Reality

  1. Great way to start my morning. Thank you for this. Sometimes i am afraid of deep conversations, sometimes i am selective to the issues I talk about.yeah the usual hie, how is the weather etc. This reminds me of this lady i met when i went for my morning jog. We exchanged numbers, everyday we would meet up , work out together, then she sent me a text. I would love to know you again, who are you, what are you currently doing. This lady she was heaven sent i guess. She sends me job applications, scholarships links etc and most time she will be checking my progress. #Deep conversations. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow that lady was intentional thanks for sharing Linzmati. The other day an acquaintance posted sthg on whatsap saying: At this stage I need a mother out there who we can both agree with to take our kids out to play

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry that just abruptly sent and now I can’t figure out how to delete/edit it so let me just continue here:

        so that person was basically saying she needed a mother who they can both agree to each take turns at taking their kids out to play or just have them so they can each have some rest more of a win-win situation.

        I could have hahad it off and scrolled to next but I felt her truth in that joke. I replied with ‘where are we registering’…this sparked off an honest conversation between two mothers struggling to stay sane raising below 3 months infants and demanding toddlers.

        She asked if I also dose off while breastfeeding in the night only to catch your baby just about to fall from your arms, I told her I experience the same and then all the struggle and fears we experience, beating ourselves up as bad mothers and how we agree that it’s only grace holding us together.

        By the end of the chat, I felt confident that there are others out there who are going thru the same challenges as me and she felt the same. I might not be the mother to exchange kids with due to geographical differences but sure we had so much in common, I am the mother she can talk to and so is she.

        #DeepConversations are a must, one of us has to have the courage to start…


    1. Eunice, just seeing your comment got me laughing and you know why.

      I am glad you are taking up the challenge, there are lots of ways to start it off, and most times it will be us giving away the gift of vulnerability to others before it can be reciprocated although we have to be ready for some walls and slammed doors while at it.

      When this happens, remember it is not you being a problem, maybe you triggered sthg in the other person, and even though you may never hear it from them, it will be a seed planted and when they finally rise up, they too will offer the same to other people they meet.

      Just do not give up on having and starting those #DeepConversations. Thanks for being here sis


  2. Perfect story for a perfect day.
    I am a sucker for deep conversations something that i value amongst my friendships.

    I will keep doing this…

    I like to believe that it is hard for one to be friends with me for long if they Don’t like holding real conversations

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeees Justine keep at it. This is how we grow and heal and connect.

    In the leadership class I told you about, the group I was put in stays in touch thankfully and we do honest checkups on each other in terms of where we are at in life, our leaps and falls and it is all-inclusive, finances, family, dreams, etc and the progress.

    Some people of course hold back -I was them but when I saw others open up and the reception they received, I gave it a try.

    This is how I got connected to G4G a girls mentorship training space, I had a dream of mentoring young girls and empowering women but had no start, this door opened because someone started those #DeepConversations.

    Now I am training and have a solid community that won’t let me be average.

    Let us be those friends. I look forward to knowing you more sis.


  4. The courage to be vulnerable and yet sometimes the connection that comes from a deep conversation is all the encouragement we need to realise how human we all are.

    You is me, me is you😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Joy for this,often we miss out on many important things that could be of value/benefit to us simply cz we stick to the surface of our conversations. Bless u sis

    Liked by 1 person

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