How to Make Sure Your Friends Enjoy Talking with You

Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful! Proverbs 15:23 The Message

Show interest.
Show interest. | Source

Some conversations with friends make you laugh, uplift your spirits and satisfy your sense of belonging. Other conversations force you to pretend that you don’t mind the chat, while you’re wishing that someone would interrupt.

What is your friend’s reaction when you call, or enter the room?

Here are four pointers to ensure that you’re the kind of friend whose call is welcome, and whose participation in the conversation help makes the day for the people you care about.

Although it is not necessary to carry them around like an instruction guide, it would be helpful to view each one seriously, and be honest about how it relates to you, and whether or not you need to make some adjustment.


"Is this a good time for us to talk?" - Photo by Anthere
"Is this a good time for us to talk?" - Photo by Anthere | Source

Be Courteous

The preliminary phase of the conversation calls for tact and courtesy. Even if your friend assures you that he or she is always available for you, show some consideration for the person’s time.

If you make the contact, inquire “Is this a good time for us to talk?” before you jump into your story. Don’t take it for granted that your conversation is the only thing or the most important thing on the agenda. If your friend indicates preference for another time, be gracious and arrange for an appropriate call-back time. Such consideration lets your friend know that you value the time you spend talking with each other, and that you are interested in gaining the maximum use of that time. Your friend will enjoy the conversation better if she does not have to hurry, and if she can give you her full attention.

On the other hand, if your friend makes the contact, listen for the reason she called, before you start sharing your excitement or your despair. As for the rest of the conversation, keep it appropriate to the level of friendship. Be humble and forgiving if either one is unintentionally discourteous and discuss boundaries to prevent similar offenses from recurring.


Be Interested

Take care not to be the friend who takes every opportunity to tell a story about you. For example, your friend says, “I got a speeding ticket this morning.” Your friend really wants you to weigh in on how unfortunate and undeserving that is; but without even recognizing his despondent mood, you respond with “Really? Did I tell you that I got a ticket last week?” And then you tell your story, leaving your friend waiting to tell his.

Show interest in the conversational need of your friend, and offer appropriate forms of support. “These cops surely know how to spoil your day” will validate his misfortune, even if you remind him later about the danger of speeding.

Ask questions to help him express how he feels. “Have you thought about disputing the ticket?” You may not know exactly how to help, but your interest will make your friend know that you’re standing by him. What’s the use of having a friend, if you find yourself alone in distress? That applies to episodes ranging in seriousness from traffic tickets to severe loss. Show interest in your friend’s joy or dilemma and resist the temptation to be the featured character in every plot. Let your friend have his day.

"Chit;Chat" by Alex Proimos
"Chit;Chat" by Alex Proimos | Source

Be Sensitive

You do not have to understand everything. Know when to stop probing before you hit a nerve. Everyone has the right to decide what he will and will not divulge. It is not always about confidentiality and trust; sometimes it’s about post traumatic stress disorders. Your friend is not obligated to bare his guts on every issue in his life; still he may one day, when he decides that the time is right.

Where there are negative circumstances like depression, divorces and other situations resulting from past relationships, friendship dictates acceptance not based on the facts, but despite the facts. Genuine friends have a way of hearing what you don’t say and responding appropriately.

Also be careful about the jokes you make, and the stories you tell. Laughter is usually a feature in pleasant conversations; be careful that it happens in good taste.


Check Yourself

In which area do you think you need an adjustment in your conversations?

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Be Supportive

If you have the habit of finishing your friend’s sentences you may be suggesting that your friend is incompetent. Your friend has the right to make his own point at his own pace. Be patient and practice listening while he is thinking what to say, or he is stuttering. There is no set words-per-minute rate for friendly conversations. Wait for him to ask for help if he needs it.

If you’re always editing your friend’s words and sentences, you may be assuming that you’re more intelligent than she is. An occasional correction is in place when it is obvious that your friend meant to use another word, or unintentionally gave wrong information. Otherwise, remember that there is more than one way to express the same idea. She wants to make her point her way. Your preference for words and phrases is yours. Allow your friend to choose her own.

If you steer the conversation into criticisms about your friends or other people you know, you may belittle yourself in your attempt to belittle others. Eventually, you may frustrate yourself when you do not achieve the desired effect, and consequently introduce a negative mood into the conversation. Avoid cunning habits like asking questions merely to have your friends trap themselves with their answers. Good friends build up each others' spirits, not break them down.


- - - - Give Yourself a Pat - - - -

For which of these habits do you score the highest?

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Be the Friend You Need

Think of ways to affirm your friends and of reasons to applaud them. Be a cheerleader for their strengths and achievements. Talk with them about your respect for their talents and your appreciation for your close relationship. Find reasons to thank them even for little acts of kindness. The closer you become, be the more careful to maintain your respect in the relationship.

Never take their presence, their feelings or their time for granted. Let your words declare that you honor them. Feed each others' souls with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, among other godly virtues. Make them feel loved, wanted and important. Give them positive reasons to smile and to laugh. Be to them the friend you need.

Approach your conversations with the attitude that if there’s going to be only one pleasant event in their day, it will be your conversation with them.

© 2012 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 26 comments

Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

These are great tips for valuing a friendship. It's great when all of these tips are reciprocated as well. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Very interesting and insightful hub here.

Well done.

Voted up+++


go2sady 3 years ago

no doubt true friend always love you and enjoying talking with you


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Efficient Admin, thanks for sharing and voting up. Glad you consider them great tips. I appreciate your support.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Faith Reaper for your encouraging comment and your votes. I appreciate you stopping by.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Go2sady, I am blessed with a few good friends whose conversation makes my day. I pray that my words are as uplifting to them. Thanks for your comment.


Cherry4 profile image

Cherry4 3 years ago from New York

Voted up and awesome. I pray many more people can read this and truly get an understanding. This is so beautiful and well written. If many read it I am sure they will have longer, true friendship than they could ever imagine. If we would only remember to respect and treat others the same way we would like to be treated.

Love the hub MsDora.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Cherry. Friendships are precious, and our friends deserve the highest respect.


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 3 years ago from UK

I particularly liked your last paragraph re one pleasant event in the day. Very thought provoking.

We can all learn something from this interesting hub, and we can apply it when dealing with close family as well as friends. (I think sometimes people may have an unconscious tendency to take more care with conversations with friends than they do with conversations with close family due to complacency.) Voted up and more.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Ebonny. I agree that we are not careful enough in our conversation with close relatives; yet we should be. They'll always be a part of us, and we should contribute to their happiness.


go2sady 3 years ago

o yes


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

O yes, go2sady. Thanks for your affirmation.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

It works both ways with friends and you good points here, a very helpful note.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks for your comment, DDE. Of course, the concern must be mutual; in other words, be the friend you need.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

I think you can also watch their eyes and body language. If they're looking at you, facing you and mirroring your actions, they're probably find you fascinating. Voting this Up and Useful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Great, Alocsin. I agree with you. Thanks very much for your valuable input.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City

Thank you for these thought-provoking reminders of what being a good friend means.

Great hub; voted up and Shared.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, L.L. for reading, voting and sharing.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

Everyone should read this Hub - the art of listening before you open your mouth is probably key to a good conversation and can reap wonderful rewards. Voted up, thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sallybea, glad you endorsed the article. Thanks for reading, sharing and voting.


azskyman profile image

azskyman 3 years ago from Arizona

Thanks so much for the excellent reminders MsDora. I'd add the importance of confidentiality in a trusting relationship. It takes time to earn trust. And respect. Real friends will not compromise on matters of trust and confidentiality.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Azskyman, I welcome your additional aspect of confidentiality. Our friends surely will not like talking with us if we did not keep their confidence. Respect and trust between friends is very important.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

MsDora,

This is a great useful hub, and I completely agree with your four pointers. I think it is also necessary to have a positive attitude when talking with people. Most of the time, I don't enjoy talking with my younger brother because he is always complaining about the world being against him. He doesn't show much empathy and always comes across as a hothead believing that he is a victim of society. Voted up and sharing. Also Pinning.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

What an interesting and helpful hub worthy of re-reading and sharing!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Levertis. So glad you found it helpful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Paul, you're right. I also have (perhaps had) a friend who always complains about how lonely he is. I dread talking with him. Conversation with a friend should be uplifting, as a rule.

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