Do you enjoy the Art of Conversation?

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A letter from Amy
I’m always thrilled to receive a letter from my pen friend Amy because with Amy I have the best letter conversations.  Have you had any interesting conversations lately?

It seems The Art of Conversation is suffering these days just like The Art of Letter Writing.  People tell me all the time how their friends prefer emailing or texting rather than sitting  together over a cup of coffee or tea for an in-person chat.  Sad, isn’t it?  I even  hear stories of  people sitting in the same room texting each other rather than speaking.   Yikes!  What’s happening here?

I personally love to meet friends in all sorts of settings and situations which foster good conversation.  I’m crazy about meeting friends in coffee houses, or sharing lunch or dinner in charming restaurants.  I also enjoy inviting people into my home for intimate dinner parties where the music is soft, the flowers are fragrant, the linen is crisp, the candles are glowing and food is shared along with good conversation.

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But another wonderful way to enjoy rich conversation is through letter writing.  Of course one needs interesting, thoughtful correspondents to have interesting, thoughtful conversations,  but there are ways to find these pen friends.  Joining The Letter Exchange is the easiest approach, it’s how I met Amy.  I’ll share additional ways to make letter friends in my future posts.   With interesting letter friends all sorts of  fascinating topics will come up for discussion.  Almost every letter I receive sends my mind off on an intellectual journey of one sort or another.

Certain penfriends like Amy always give me lots to think about and consider. In one of Amy’s letters she was talking about Introverts and Extroverts.  Which are you?

I suppose it’s possible we can be a little of both in different situations.  What do you think?  Amy, bringing up this subject, got me thinking, and thinking is good for us.  It keeps our mind from falling into decay.  I got curious and had to investigate so I looked up definitions of these two psychological terms and here’s what I found in my Oxford American dictionary:

Introvert – A person who is concerned more with his own thoughts and feelings than with the people and things around him, a shy person.

Extrovert – a person more interested in the people and things around him than in his own thoughts and feelings, a lively sociable person.

Do agree with those definitions? I do not.

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Amy had some of her own thoughts on the subject.  She wrote, “Introverts like to think deeply, quietly, and critically. They will speak aloud only once they have come to a conclusion.  Extroverts feel that talking helps them think through an issue. ”  Interesting view.  Do you agree?

Amy also offered another very keen observation and this one  I agree with completely, and I’ve shared her observation with many others – now with you.  Amy noticed extroverts seem to gain energy from the outside world whereas introverts gain energy when experiencing solitude.

I find psychology a very compelling topic. Where do you think you fall on the Introvert xxx Extrovert scale?  Well, Amy suggests we google the Meyers Briggs test (it’s free) offered by humanmetrics.com, for it will tell us where we fall on that I/E continuum.  You might want to do it.  After all, Socrates did say, “Know Thyself” and maybe this test will help with that.

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The start of today’s letter

I mention all this because I would’ve never been wondering about introverts and extroverts if it hadn’t been for Amy and her letter.  Can you see how letter writing  gets us thinking … and how thinking is good for us?  Now, as I write my own letter today I have yet another interesting topic to discuss thanks to Amy.

 People ask me all the time what in the world I find to write about in my daily letters.  Where do I look for ideas?  Well, with lots of interesting friends and conversations, in-person conversations as well as letter conversations, plenty of subjects come up and all these subjects go into my letters and also keep my mind from wandering off to dreary matters.

So I hope you continue to meet lots of interesting people, making friends, and having interesting  in-person conversations as well as letter conversations.  The Art of Conversation allows us to share with our fellow men and sharing is an important part of being human.  So Keep your eyes open and welcoming to those you are attracted to because they could be  very important  to your personal growth, for as Helene Iswolski, the 20th century Russian writer and monk wrote,

 “I believe that we are always attracted to what we need most, an instinct leading us toward the persons who are to open new vistas in our lives and fill them with new knowledge.”

Amy is one of those persons who opens new vistas for me.

I hope you have lots of your own Amy’s.

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