Two Key Types of Dialogue
There are two types of conversations that every single one of us need to hold on a regular basis in order to thrive in every area of our lives. These two types of conversations happen in two very different ways, but are equally essential to our optimal function and overall well being.
They consist of intrapersonal and interpersonal dialogue. We have to somehow manage the world within each one of us. To do so, we need to be able to hear the language of that world. And be able to assess the relative state of its overall health.
Think about it: when the world is a chaotic, random, noisy whirl, can you really hear yourself? When its appointments, demands and problems flood in, can you focus? When energy, time and resources are in short supply, reactivity is heightened. Feelings of resignation, irritation, helplessness and anger arise.
Your body tightens its muscles. Your pulse speeds up. Your head may ache, or your stomach feel queasy. A disordered outer world often means that the inner world is cut off from being heard. It is voiceless.
Worse, the inward press of dysfunction can remap the inner workings of the body, the mind, the soul and the spirit. Once that process is underway, the self suffers injury, the loss of healthy boundaries and the loss of resilience.
It’s imperative not to allow the inner world to be overwhelmed. This is accomplished through engaging with a variety of tools in the form of personal habits that support the creation of margin, quietness and space to interact with the inner life in healthy ways.
Breathing deeply, going for a walk, playing your favorite song- all of these can act as circuit breakers that disrupt the overload process. In addition, each of us can set up systems in the world without that promote an excellent felt experience.
In our connection to others, there are opportunities to mirror and to be mirrored in turn. Interpersonal dialogue can help groups discern workable, sustainable and ethical paths forward in community of all kinds. This discernment can be priceless for individuals and for collectives.
External dialogues hold the prospect of listening deeply to other experiences, other minds and other perspectives. It’s a human powered learning dynamic that has the potential to offer scaffolding to each one of us. Scaffolding that supports us in reaching for goals that we’d never achieve within the boundaries of our own finite beings.
These dialogue types are the means whereby each of us can connect to a metaconsciousness. As thoughts, theories, hypotheses and intuitions are placed into the neutral space of personal or collective awareness, a catalyst may emerge that acts on the totality of them, reordering and reworking them.
At this juncture, exchanges are occurring and the idea system is being reformed, remapped and reshaped. This is thought work and it is the superpower of inTERpersonal and inTRApersonal dialogues. Practicing both of these will propel you towards your goals!