Selective conversation in family relations.

Family secrets.

We all know what these are, conversations that are taboo in the presence of family. I call them conversation buttons because they can immediately define the direction of the exchange.

Let me begin by briefly giving you an overview of my family. My Italian mother married my American father of German Irish decent after World War II. They started their family in America after the war and had four children, of which I am second born, three girls and one boy. My father was a hard working mechanic and eventually purchased his own gas station and car repair shop. My mother took care of the children and from time to time took part time restaurant jobs for extra money. My father was from Chicago, Illinois the son of Irish Catholic Democrats. My mother from Asiago, Italy. That should be plenty for now.

As I said I have learned the art of selective conversation in personal relations. Learned is the key word here. As a child I grew up by the rule ' children should be seen and not heard.' Quite harsh by today's standards but very typical for the 1950's. The one thing no one understood is that conversation is not the spoken word alone. How we act is a form of conversation as powerful as the words that accompany those actions. For example, if someone says I love you but refuses to give you a hug it defines their personal definition of love. Have you ever greeted someone with a hug only to find a stiff motionless body within your arms. Or hugged someone who hugs you back so hard it takes your breath away? These people are having a silent conversation with you about their feelings. Your relationships with these individuals are then defined by selective conversation.

Like any conversation buttons our actions paint a picture of who we are. They tell our life stories in mime.  If you are a good listener, body language is a greater indicator of a personality than a carefully orchestrated oral exchange or a verbal rant that is called conversation. So the first step to selective conversation is the learned responces of our heritage, family unit or lack of a family unit.


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