How to Have Better Conversations With Others

One of the easiest ways to get to know someone is having small talk. Whether it’s with your friends, peers, or simply a stranger, the topics could range from your interests to the latest current events. Quite simple. However, it’s a skill that could take a long time to master. Some focus can be on your outward appearance or look during a conversation, listening, and getting creative.

Our eyes are placed in a way where we can perceive everything around us except our own selves (you’ve only seen reflections of yourself in mirrors, water, or anything with a reflective surface). It can be challenging to catch the little movements and positions that we create and to consciously make an effort to do so. Ironically, your eyes are a feature that’s most seen and noticed by the others. Maintain good eye contact to express your interest, but don’t stare too intensely (only Dwayne Johnson can do the “smoldering intensity” look). Take note of your body position as well because having it facing towards the person you’re having a conversation with helps you focus on them and them only.

Epictetus, a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher, once said that “you were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason”. What this means is that while talking is crucial in a conversation, listening is another important aspect. There should be a balance between how much you talk and how much you listen. The other person’s opinions, ideas, or say in a conversation is just as valuable as your own. Besides, you can’t have a conversation with just one person speaking.

One of the hard parts of a conversation is actually making an interesting conversation. There are specific topics that you want to talk about, and there are others that you aren’t interested in. That’s fine. The only way to receive interesting answers is giving interesting questions. Here’s an example: “What’s your favorite color?”. Although it’s not a terrible question that is often asked, you can add to and give more creative thought into it. How about this question instead: “If you could change any animal’s color, which one would it be?” Better, isn’t it? You can expect a more detailed and fascinating answer.

Small talk doesn’t seem so small anymore when you have to consider all the factors, whether it’s your tone of voice, hand gestures, etc. Having more conversations with different individuals or in a group would help you to see how you can get a feel for it and eventually, you can create a pleasant dialogue.

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