How would you describe your family’s table talk during your childhood? Was it lively or subdued? Was it friendly or feisty? Was it harsh or loving? Whatever it may have been, the conversational style of your family—both around the table and throughout the home—had a profound impact upon your approach to conversation today. Our families were the first to teach us vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax—the building blocks to relaying information. But our families also modeled conversation—how we exchange ideas with others. And those lessons have lasting power, drawing us to enter dialogue in ways that mirror what we were taught—and what we caught—as children.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Talking about Talk series by sorting out the role our families play in shaping our conversational style. Home life teaches us crucial skills about relaying information, listening, negotiating, dealing with conflict, and being vulnerable. All of these are crucial conversational skills, which is why being an adept talker is about so much more than just stringing words together. It’s learning how to live life together for the good of all. Considering the formative impact our table talk has upon us, is it possible to learn new skills? Did our family’s communication style doom us to broken relationships—and therefore, a broken society? Listen in for dialogue on issues like these, and continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of day: What’s your family’s conversational quirk?

Erin Straza: Web / Twitter

Hannah Anderson: Web / Twitter

Persuasion Podcast: / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Persuasion 147 Resources & Links

Google’s Family Link can now turn off your teen’s phone during dinner, The Verge

The Importance of Family Dinnertime: Part One, Psychology Today

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 146: Let’s Talk

Persuasion 142: The Incredibles Teach Us How to Be Human

Persuasion | Judged By Your Language

Theme music by Maiden Name.