Part of good mental health requires having people in our lives with whom we can connect, share and engage in in-depth conversations.
This is not like talks we may have with acquaintances for example. In this case the conversation is more likely to be light and often each party merely recites recent events or transmits necessary information. This is “facebook” interaction. Go for “champagne” instead of “diet soda” in your interactions.
Conversation is the “champagne.” With real conversation there is both sharing and listening. There is acknowledgement of what was shared before moving on to another subject. Statements may be made, but also questions are asked. Both participants are curious about the other. There is reduced or little expectation about what the other will say. This is because the more you know someone the more there is to know. People have depth. People change. They can and do surprise us.
God speaks to us through the thoughtful voice of others in our lives. How can we know when God is speaking? Consider the fruits. Did it surprise you? Does it bring out the best in you? Did it stretch you beyond your comfort zone? Those are cues that the Spirit is at work. God is in relationships.
Mature personal growth and development requires people in our lives whom we trust and with whom we can have thoughtful conversations. We need to share. We need to feel heard. We need to listen and remember.
Limit or eliminate relationships that don’t do this. Especially minimize relationships where you aren’t heard, the talk is negative or only one-way. Interactions like these sap your energy and joy. Over time they are soul-killing.
Instead, fill your life with fabulous. Build relationships into your life that engage you in deeper conversation. It’s mutual. It’s memorable. It’s enriching, energizing and life-changing.