Verbal communication is dangerous. Our youngest son said that he has decided to talk less while he is at school. He followed with, “If I’m quiet, I don’t have to worry about saying something stupid.” Good call Buddy.
It’s not much different for us in the grown up world. With friends, you can do the ping-pong style of conversation, with a fairly low risk factor. Things like, “These cheese fries are great,” and a quick response of, “Yeah, but not as great as this burger,” might be fine. But if you go much deeper than that, or even try that conversation in the wrong place, you will most likely need an outline and several drafts to prepare. I’m not as cynical as you think.
Let’s re-imagine this same scene spoken by a couple, out for a date.
“These cheese fries are great.”
“Yeah, but not as great as this burger.”
“Even better than the burger I made for you last weekend?”
“I don’t know.”
“You know, the one I had ready for you when you came in from mowing the yard?”
“What? Oh yeah, that was pretty good too.”
In that moment, one member of the couple just became 23% less significant. I think our son is right. The less said, the better.