Author Topic: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?  (Read 3828 times)

Offline Dharmakara

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Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« on: July 25, 2010, 02:49:51 pm »
After a very boisterous conversation in the chatroom, where I was told I had my head up my butt, I decided it might be time to bring up the subject of polite conversation.

First of all, if you already are more than aware of another person's position on the topic, don't bring up the subject for the sole sake of pushing buttons or getting a rise out of the other person... such behavior is immature and certainly contrary to Buddhist practice within all traditions.

Basically, if a person can't have a polite conversation, they should either hold their tongue or just leave the chatroom, most certainly not tell the other person they have their head up their butt, something a mod would not tolerate, nor myself and other monastics, and the same should hold true and be afforded to all members of FreeSangha.

With that said, here we go... Guidelines for Polite Conversation [1]:

All of us are born with unique talents which are very peculiar to us. When it is a good quality we term it a talent and when it is irritating we call the person idiosyncratic. It is these quirks that differentiates us from the people around us.

One very important aspect of survival for our race is the ability to socialize and though it may seem easy and quite an ordinary trait, it is actually a talent which is acquired from the peer group, our family and the people around us. It can definitely be termed a talent because through this talent/trait a person can overcome/hide many of his/her shortcomings.

One essential element to socializing is to make small talk. When you meet someone new, in a party, a social gathering or a get-together with friends, it is through this trait that you make yourself seen/heard and separate yourself from the people around you.

It is often observed that people who have this trait in abundance, usually have no dearth of friends or acquaintances. Making small-talk is one of the most under rated traits in a person. This trait not only helps you engage people, it also makes you seem like a good listener. All of us love to talk and know that conversation with a person is made interesting only when there is continuation/flow of thoughts and without small-talk it is very difficult to initiate a conversation.

In fact, in some cultures it is deemed rude if people get right to the point without engaging in some polite conversation (small talk). For people who are practical minded, impatient or introverts, this is a big concern. The whole idea of talking about topics for the sake of talking brings in them an acute sense of discomfort.

One way, to avoid feeling this way is to talk about something that is of common interest to both of you/ to the group of people around you. If nothing, there is always the weather, the current political situation or a new movie.

While making small talk may seem perfectly harmless to some people, others may see it as a way to showcase their knowledge and prowess on the chosen topic. The first step to overcome the inability to make small talk, is to listen carefully and understand how people talk and observe the reaction of the people around. Sometimes, listening carefully is all it takes.

As a famous British writer once said, "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Source(s):
[1] The Art of Making Polite Conversation
http://expertscolumn.com/content/art-making-polite-conversation

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 03:03:14 pm »
I miss all the good chats...    :lipsseald:

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 03:06:00 pm »
On a more serious note, I do not see "small talk" as an antidote to unwholesome speech.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 03:07:00 pm »
I definitely want this Guide in place.  Let's decide how to make it the norm.
:headbow:
Ogyen.
This post was made with 100% recycled karma

Offline Pema Dorje

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 03:15:23 pm »
I definitely want this Guide in place.  Let's decide how to make it the norm.
:headbow:
Ogyen.

Can we add it to the guidelines?
-Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.-
Gautama Buddha

Offline heybai

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 07:20:15 pm »
I definitely want this Guide in place.  Let's decide how to make it the norm.
:headbow:
Ogyen.

It would have to be re-written to avoid plagiarism.  Notice the source Incognito cites.

Doesn't the current TOS cover behavior & language use in the Chatroom?  If not, an addendum stating that "these rules also apply in chat" might do the trick.  If someone is being abusive and rude moderators ought to be able to enforce the guidelines in any of the forum's venues.
 :twocents:

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2010, 08:04:18 pm »
On a more serious note, I do not see "small talk" as an antidote to unwholesome speech.

Correct, it's not an antidote, but it is a means by which one becomes more comfortable with others around them, how people get to know eachother and bring barriers down.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 08:11:16 pm by incognito »

Offline catmoon

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2010, 08:47:46 pm »
Ahem.


One might suggest that if one wishes not to be told one has adopted a physically impossible position, then perhaps one should not refer to the practices of others as "mental masturbation".  :D
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline heybai

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2010, 08:53:14 pm »
Uh-oh...

First this --

 :stir:

Then --

 :argue:

And --

 :bringit:

Can only lead to this --

 :fight:


Offline catmoon

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2010, 08:59:40 pm »
Perhaps. I thought the whole episode was hilarious, maybe not every one shared the the same view tho.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline heybai

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2010, 09:04:22 pm »
 :hug:

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2010, 09:10:52 pm »
I knew if Incognito was involved, there'd be an interesting "other side" to the story.  :teehee:

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2010, 12:00:31 am »
Checking/observing one's feelings and emotions and avoiding communication or response to inquiries when not in a state of mental equanimity has been helpful (to me) to avoid saying things like "You have your head up your butt."...which I have personally tried, but found to be impossible, and "mentally masturbating", which I often find stimulating, but not very gratifying.  My experience has been that it is best to write nothing when retorts come to mind, no matter how well justified, nor how well formulated.  When the formulated intention is about putting others in their place, the best response is no response.

For that reason, I am striking out this entire post.   :D




What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline heybai

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2010, 01:43:30 am »
Just got my teaching evaluations back from last semester.  I was a crowd pleaser on the whole, it seems, but one student responded -- and I am translating loosely, but the gist is correct* --

"The teacher has his head up his butt." 

*[Question: Do you agree with this statement?
"The instructor listens respectfully to students and responds appropriately."
Responses:
Strongly agree.
Agree.
Neither agree nor disagree.
Disagree.
>>>Teacher has head up butt.]

Yeshe Zopa

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Re: Guidelines for Polite Conversation?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2010, 06:51:52 am »
Just got my teaching evaluations back from last semester.  I was a crowd pleaser on the whole, it seems, but one student responded -- and I am translating loosely, but the gist is correct* --

"The teacher has his head up his butt." 

*[Question: Do you agree with this statement?
"The instructor listens respectfully to students and responds appropriately."
Responses:
Strongly agree.
Agree.
Neither agree nor disagree.
Disagree.
>>>Teacher has head up butt.]

LOL.  There's a website here called RateMy Teacher or something similar.  I am delighted to say that, having been slated for being too demanding on students (they all responded well and achieved top grades) I discovered that the headteacher of that school was rated around 35% by his students. Iknow, I know, but sometimes you can't help smiling about such things... :)

Oh, we don't really need new guidelines, we just need to agree what Right Speech means in the Chat, which is often much more relaxed and informal.   And I guess the rough measure of that is how often we receive complaints about it. I've had none, even from analencephalopods. ;)

 


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