Friday, April 06, 2007

Conversation Café: Using Conversation to Help Save the World

As part of trying to feel settled in my new town, I have joined a group called "Conversation Café." It might sound somewhat "counter to type" for an HSP to "join a group," but this case is rather different.

An issue facing many HSPs centers around the fact that we tend to prefer the "deep and meaningful" in life-- be it in conversation, or in what we read, or in the people we choose as friends. This often feels like a great challenge to us, because we perceive most of the world around us to be "fluffy" and interested in largely talking "about nothing."

So what is a "Conversation Café?"

It's a group of people who meet once a week (at a local restaurant) to talk. Yes, I said "talk." What's different about it lies both in the structure of the dialogue, and in the topics discussed.

Each week, a topic is chosen ahead of time (so you can think about it)-- it might be something like "the value of collective wisdom" or "is there purpose to believing in God." The topics are never "lightweight" issues, but rather things that directly affect our lives, and the world at large. The conversation goes by a "talking stick" being passed around the circle-- and only the person holding the talking stick may speak. This means that there is no chance for more forceful voices to drown out the more softspoken people-- everybody gets equal time, and equal voice. This is an ideal format for HSPs, since they often feel "drowned out" by louder voices. Typically, the conversation goes for about 1 1/2 hours... and we all tend to come away wiser and more enlightened.

I don't often recommend group events to HSPs, but this is one of the rare exceptions. If you'd like to learn more, and perhaps see if there's an existing café in your area, visit the Converation Cafe web site.

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