“The Conversation” – explained!

The Story behind the Post “The Conversation”- Aug 4.

The question that I asked myself (see original Post) was whether I could write a Post which steered the reader in a specific direction of thought and then, like a good “who dunnit” novel, use the last few lines to totally destroy all the reader’s thinking that went before it.

Did it work? Only you can know that of course, but what follows is the “inside scoop” on how it was planned:

I wanted to create the sense that “she” was meeting another person with the intent of having a serious discussion. The topic was deliberately never made clear, but it was obviously of a sensitive and personal nature as she pondered quite a bit on how to approach it.

The next significant thing to happen was a man being introduced into the story. The intent was to add more “color” to the readers belief as to where the story was going. From my perspective, he was either a very close friend or, more likely, a counselor (re office and leather sofa). This simply reinforced that she had a difficult task to do.

Clue #1 – When she looked into the expressionless face, she saw unkempt hair, just like her hair.

Clue #2 – She saw dark brown hair, just like hers.

Clue #3 – The pale blue flower clip (in her hair) was like hers, but on the other side. Of course it would have looked that way given the reflective properties of a mirror.

The above were simply to validate the final few lines of the story where she “turned away from the mirror”

The story once again mentioned her meeting with “him” which merely endorsed the original direction of the story.

Clue #4 – “(She) looked up and was just about to speak ………..but stopped. Was the person facing her also just about to speak?” Again, it simply added credence to the “real” story line. She would have looked up and seen herself in the mirror just about to speak!

The rest of the story was pretty much “padding”. She was clearly having a difficult time trying to address some sensitive issues and would presumably therefore present a face which was tired, and drained of any signs of emotion. This was the face she was looking at.

“She turned, got up from her chair, and then slowly walked away from the mirror!”


The whole story falls apart if you cannot understand why somebody would want to talk to themselves in a mirror. If this was a strange concept to you, then of course you would be unlikely to have grasped the ending, and would probably wonder what I was drinking before I wrote the story!

Casting my mind back many, many, years, I recall being in an information session where it was explained that our mind has a conscious area (like a temporary computer file) and a sub-conscious area (permanent file). Apparently everything we hear goes into the conscious area, some of which (with repetition) eventually finds itself in the sub-conscious area but, if we have a picture to go with the sound, it can go directly to the sub-conscious.

Our personality traits, perspectives, self-esteem etc. are controlled by the sub-conscious area so in order to create change in one’s self, one should talk to a mirror. This is known as “self-talk” or “talk-back” in the business of psychiatric/psychological treatment. Now I am just hoping that after all these years, I haven’t totally misrepresented the medical profession!

13 thoughts on ““The Conversation” – explained!

  1. I was first thinking that the girl was going to talk to a psychiatrist but then when you had her hearing his words in her mind I thought she was meeting someone else who she really didn’t want to talk to.

    When I read about the flower clip I finally “got it” 🙂
    Should have known you would have a twist.
    Great job! Do you have more stories that you wrote back then? Would be interested in reading more. 🙂

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  2. That is very very intersting, Colin. I don’t know about all those medical facts. But what I know is that once we take the time and look into our own eyes – I mean that literally in the mirror – than we truly discover something new. The eyes are the window to the soul and we might understand ourselve a lot better or would at least find a way back to our core. That was a great inspiration, Colin.

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    • Hi Erika – I believe that I am accurate with those facts. I also recall that “sound only” repetition will move information from the conscious to the sub-conscious but it can take up to 17-18 reps to work. A face talking to you takes the “shortcut”. This was (perhaps still is) used heavily where self-esteem is an issue. One faces a mirror and compliments oneself on various points. Apparently the brain will process the data as if it was somebody else complimenting you, and 3rd party approval is very good.

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      • We don’t have problems to say mean things to ourselves and believe it. The same thing is possible with positive things. I made a huge move forward when I started practicing this: Looking in the mirror, smiling at me and saying “I love and appreciate myself the way I am”. Several times a day. First it was uncomfortable but after a while it was amazing to look at myself lovelier and lovlier. And of course other things followed. The recognition of my surrounding was stunning.

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