Cafe Conversations | A Taste of Slap

Tea and Tolerance took over the cafe at York Theatre Royal to have conversations as part of A Taste of Slap 2020 on 15th February 2020.

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Though storm Dennis submerged trees this weekend, we stayed nice and dry in York and chatted with visitors to the event about a really wide range of topics. People could have conversations inspired by tea trolley or our ‘Being Human Game’ From death, dreams and ghosts…to benefits of social media, how to combat loneliness to the perils of the charismatic leadership style. Here’s a little taste of the conversations we had. Thanks to Slap! for having us and to all attendees for their contributions.

We also talked about the benefits of this game to reduce social isolation because of the feeling of connectedness talking so surprisingly deeply and personally with other human beings that you have never met before. WE also talked about how it can be easier to open up to strangers, And about permission. When is it ok to talk to people and when will they regard you as w weirdo.

The Conversations

How does it feel to be vulnerable? It’s a big question. I think about the flooding this weekend and how that must feel for some people dealing with that – very real. Last year, I was made to feel really vulnerable. I’m still not sure I can forgive that person. It’s taken a long time to feel safe around people again and to have any kind of trust. Sometimes really scary things happen. And in that absolute vulnerability, everything feels really different. Looking back, being that vulnerable was the making of me.

If you had one wish, what would you wish for? I would say, to be strong and fit and have no fear so that I could be bold. To have more motivation and focus. Inner peace.

What is your favourite word? Discombobulated. Piglet is one of my friend’s favourite words. Some words just sound good. They sing

When the best leader’s work is done, people will say: ‘We did it ourselves.’ 

It’s a pity we don’t have more leaders like this. We seem to prefer charismatic leaders – hierarchies, I suppose.  I think maybe we would do better with these kinds of leaders that empower people. 

We talked quite a lot about social media and whether or not it reduces social isolation? And in what ways is it useful to us? And we talked about the pressures for young people- you know having a life being broadcast one status at a time. We talked about the limitations of twitter to have any nuance in conversations. Yet that the anonymity of social media does mean you can hear and consider the views of people you would never meet in the real world. This has helped some of us to expand our thinking, knowledge and views around some subjects.

Why are you here? Its really important to support events like this (SLAP). I came because my friend invited me

How can we forgive? When the person knows what they did. I’m not sure you always should forgive. Not forgiving can give boundaries and keep people away if you don’t feel safe around them. Though not forgiving keeps something that someone else did i wrong close to you. In teaching, I have always treated all my students with ‘Unconditional Positive regard’.

They need to know that so they can trust you. There used to be this thing called gifted and talented but studies showed that often the students that were identified as gifted and talented, whatever their actual ability, completely outshined the others. Maybe this is that unconditional positive regard. We then went on to talk a little about the human givensThese are the givens and drivers of human nature. We talked about how these help you to understand where someone is coming from. It gives clues to what they need by the behaviours they show you.

The Human Givens

They seemed relevant to a game called ‘Being Human’, so I thought I’d share them. They are as follows…

Security: A sense of safety and security; safe territory; an environment in which people can live without experiencing excessive fear so that they can develop healthily.

Autonomy and control: A sense of autonomy and control over what happens around and to us. 

Status: A sense of status – being accepted and valued in the various social groups we belong to.

Privacy: Time and space enough to reflect on and consolidate our experiences.

Attention: Receiving attention from others, but also giving it; a form of essential nutrition that fuels the development of each individual, family and culture.[12][13][14]

Connection to the wider community: Interaction with a larger group of people and a sense of being part of the group.

Intimacy: Emotional connection to other people – friendship, love, intimacy, fun.

Competence and achievement: A sense of our own competence and achievements, that we have what it takes to meet life’s demands.

Meaning and purpose: Being stretched, aiming for meaningful goals, having a sense of a higher calling or serving others creates meaning and purpose.

Questions and quotes added. 

“Its our power to make others’ shine”

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

“Don’t do other people’s work.”

“Behaviour is communication.”

“If I knew what my own prejudices were, I wouldn’t have them.

‘Do you believe in dreams?”

“Let your life speak.’

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