83. How do you have better conversations with other people?

  1. Have lots of conversations. The more times you talk with other people, the better you will get at it and the more chance you will have to talk about interesting things.
  2. Try to talk about ideas and experiences instead of people.
  3. Listen to other people instead of just thinking about what you want to talk about.
  4. But don’t ask too many questions. Conversations are not interviews.
  5. Conversations are two-sided, so you should share your own anecdotes and thoughts.
  6. When the conversation is stalling, you can ask random questions or bring up something you want to share.
  7. Open up your life and be vulnerable.
  8. Be okay with saying something that is awkward or not quite right.
  9. Don’t suddenly change topics when people are still talking, particularly if you are in a group (only do that when the conversation has obviously stalled). Don’t just say anything that pops into your head that might be slightly related. Don’t one-up people with your experience that is slightly better than theirs.
  10. Be okay with silence and reflection. Sometimes everyone needs to think for a minute and give the ideas some space.
  11. If someone asks you a person question, give a good, long answer. They are asking you about yourself and they want you to share.
  12. Sometimes you don’t want to talk. Sometimes other people don’t want to talk. So sometimes no conversation is wanted or needed.

1 comment

  1. Great ideas here.
    I have found something that helps me see if I may be talking too much and not listening. I will sometimes just stop talking midway through a thought, okay sometimes I do this because I’m absent minded and just don’t finish my thoughts but at other times, I stop. If someone asks me to continue I know they were listening and we are conversing. If no one notices then I know I need to listen instead of talk.

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