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Thread: Art of Conversation

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    chairpersonality Holon's Avatar
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    Default Art of Conversation

    This is going to sound absurdly stupid (no offence @Absurd), but how do I talk to people? There's a girl at the computer association who seems interested in me, but I have no idea how to talk to her, or most of the people there. I can focus on external things with two of the more social guys, and there's a few uber-intelligent folks who are happy to monologue about statistics and ontology (ftw), but other than those cases I find I can't really keep a conversation going. I feel this is a general life/social skill I'm lacking.

    Help?

    scribbles in the dark

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Ok, best way to start a conversation is to get close to the person so that they can hear you. Stand next to them and say "hi, I see you around all the time and I've never introduced myself, my name is Song." Wait to see what the person's reaction is, usually most people are obliged and will say Hi and drop their name; next, don't encrouch on their space, don't feel like you have to tell them everything all at once or lord yourself on them; give them space to absorb and come to you or give it time and distance between the first greet and the next; on the next, say "hi Robert [depending on where you're meeting them again, drop them a suggestion...did you know that our local grocer has the best coffee? I thought as a neighbor I'd let you in on something good." This builds trust and consideration allows the other person to think of you or your suggestion in other life circumstance]." Next time they need to get coffee they will think of you and your suggestion. The next after that is when you can have a longer conversation; filter things around you the world, the sciences, your interests; to keep a conversation going build on things and branch in angels. "I love coffee." "I used to drink so many cups." "I got my coffee from this guy." "That guy used to own businesses here." "That business could be successful in this way."

    You gettin my point?

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    make stuff up

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    You open your mouth. Providing she is really interested in you, as in really, it may end up easier for you, for you both may have something in common.

    Anyway, how do you know she is interested in you?
    Last edited by Absurd; 07-26-2013 at 09:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Ask people questions.
    Totally this. If you open up with a question then it immediately takes the "pressure" off you.

    If you're having problems switching to more personable topics you can do things like ask about why X decided to join, does Y belong to any other associations, etc.

    It will get easier. I found it good to practice with strangers you don't care about/won't see again - sandpit mode.

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    1.) Eye contact first.
    2.) Smile.
    3.) Then say hello.

    Any additional thinking beyond that will probably be over-analysis. Who knows, maybe she's well versed in conversation, which would make it easier on you. But definitely follow those three steps to get things kickstarted.
    And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?- Matthew 6:30

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    chairpersonality Holon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirreltual View Post
    It will get easier. I found it good to practice with strangers you don't care about/won't see again - sandpit mode.
    In some cases it seems like I'm better at making people uncomfortable than holding a conversation

    These are good points. I'm practicing on an acquaintance right now, and the conversation is flowing fairly well

    I have a further question. I've been reading about active listening, and the idea of repeating back what people say to you came up. Does anyone have any starting points for achieving this is a subtle, non-stilted way?

    scribbles in the dark

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Grain of a Song of Sand View Post
    In some cases it seems like I'm better at making people uncomfortable than holding a conversation

    These are good points. I'm practicing on an acquaintance right now, and the conversation is flowing fairly well

    I have a further question. I've been reading about active listening, and the idea of repeating back what people say to you came up. Does anyone have any starting points for achieving this is a subtle, non-stilted way?
    Active listening and asking follow-on questions seem like they could go hand-in-hand. You might find it easier being the one to ask questions as opposed to answering them. Also, you'll find people seem to be happier when talking about themselves.

    As for how to accomplish this- conversations usually start out the same way. ("Hi, how are you, how is your day?"). Your next goal is to just shift focus of the conversation to the individual right away by asking follow-on questions. Example:

    You: Hi, how are you? How is your day going?
    Them: Good... bought a coffee, trying to wake up. How is your day?
    You: Good, thanks! What kind of coffee do you normally get?
    Them: I normally get lattes, but I was running late this morning and opted for black coffee.
    You: Running late? How come?
    Them: I got a new smart phone and didn't properly set the alarm.
    You: You got a new smart phone? What kind? How do you like it?

    etc. etc.

    Conversation is almost like falling through rabbit holes, and if you're the one asking questions, you can pick which rabbit hole to fall through by picking the subject of their statement and formulating a question around it. This also conveys a sense that you're trying to connect and get to know them, and I personally find it easier than creating topics. Instead, I formulate questions around their topics.

    It's similar to active listening, but takes it one step further.

    The point is- most conversations start off the same way. If you have one or two questions ready to ask, you can usually generate some momentum for conversation.
    And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?- Matthew 6:30

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    I think this problem ironically comes from having too much empathy or something... because I'm the same way. You don't say many things for fear that people will respond a certain way to what you say but for the most part... people won't care so much, and they have to toughen up defensively via what you say just as much as you do when *they* talk to you, you know?

    the thing is, just say whatever is on your mind. You have a thought in your head, just say it- not like totally unfiltered or anything (that would probably come off as rude) but don't really think so much about what you say before you say it.... the truth is how this girl thinks of you is probably going to be complicated. She might have a general snapshot of you as a 'kind hearted final fantasy dork' (which is sorta the dominant vibe you give off no offense.. i mean im crazy about kind hearted final fantasy dorks) so in order for her to really get to know your intricacies you will just have to be patient and keep it up probably.

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    Haha I was about to give advice but I'm pretty terrible at this. I think all my friends are people that started talking to me first and like all the ones I got off well with were the ones that smoke pot or drink. Talking about altered states is like instant bonding material. I'm horrible at formal, professional conversation.
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    when you see the booty Galen's Avatar
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    I've found myself become much more adept at making idle conversation with people through networking events. It starts off slow and awkward since you don't know anybody, but so long as there's a common interest between everybody and you have no expectations as to where the communication may go it gets much easier the more you do it.

    Those two things, common interests/situations and expectations, are really the key elements to meeting new people I've found. You really can't go into a conversation hoping that you're gonna become best friends or whatever, otherwise you'll be more preoccupied with what you want out of the prospective relationship than what the actual relationship has to offer.
    "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl

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    It's pretty cool

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    Conversation is conversation. There is no art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Hi,

    Ok, best way to start a conversation is to get close to the person so that they can hear you. Stand next to them and say "hi, I see you around all the time and I've never introduced myself, my name is Song." Wait to see what the person's reaction is, usually most people are obliged and will say Hi and drop their name; next, don't encrouch on their space, don't feel like you have to tell them everything all at once or lord yourself on them; give them space to absorb and come to you or give it time and distance between the first greet and the next; on the next, say "hi Robert [depending on where you're meeting them again, drop them a suggestion...did you know that our local grocer has the best coffee? I thought as a neighbor I'd let you in on something good." This builds trust and consideration allows the other person to think of you or your suggestion in other life circumstance]." Next time they need to get coffee they will think of you and your suggestion. The next after that is when you can have a longer conversation; filter things around you the world, the sciences, your interests; to keep a conversation going build on things and branch in angels. "I love coffee." "I used to drink so many cups." "I got my coffee from this guy." "That guy used to own businesses here." "That business could be successful in this way."

    You gettin my point?
    He just wants to talk to people...not talk them out of their life savings.

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kill4Me View Post
    He just wants to talk to people...not talk them out of their life savings.
    It was an example of how a conversation can evolve.

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    your post was a how-to on manipulation...not talking.

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    escaping anndelise's Avatar
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    A how-to post on Small Talk which I posted back in 2006:
    http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...all-Talk-Guide
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