The Lost Episode. The Art of Conversation.
I was sitting here at my desk, emailing, using the cell phone to send texts, instant messaging, the TV playing in the background for noise, and thought to myself, we have lost conversation. Even though I have many going on at once, I hear no voices, I see no eyes looking back into mine, I see no body language, just the pecking away at my keyboard, or that of my cell phone’s chirping. I might have two or five conversations going on at once, but are they really conversations in an art form. They are communicating. They are sending thoughts across this cyber void, across the miles and miles of cell phone towers.
But what happened to the art of conversation? Has it become a lost episode lost in the vaults of computers, cell phones, iPods?
There are lists of how to be successful at the art of conversation.
There are books written on how to practice the art of conversation.
There are rules for the art of conversation.
Let’s go over those, and see how we have lost those in this cyber world.
- Listen to the other person, Engage. Listen carefully to what they saying, and later you can ask questions, formulate your questions based on their conversation. We call this small talk at times, but you can truly make it an art form. Hold their attention by you holding theirs. Rapt attention, curiosity, and fascination. We are talking about social conversation, engaging on social levels. If this is someone that you could possibly have an interest in, perhaps on a personal level, dating, take it to another level in the next tip.
- Body Language. Use your body language to show how open and approachable you are. Do not slump, which is language that you may be bored, or fold your arms, which is a defensive position. Smile, make eye contact, and leave your arms uncrossed. Nod once in a while to show that you are listening, paying attention.
- Find interesting topics to discuss. Read the news, current events, topics that you may find the party/parties might have an interest in. Do your research beforehand. Make it a conversation for all, not just your own interests. Do not put all the focus on yourself.
- If asked your point of view, express it clearly and in a non-confrontational tone. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but be open to any responses, debates, or questions you get as a result. Clarify if someone has misinterpreted what you have said.
- Toss in humor! For keeping the art of conversation going is in keeping the other person/people entertained, and engaged. Don’t let it be offensive. And always engage in the right humor for the right conversation.
There used to be so many rules for engaging in the art of conversation, don’t bring up politics, religion, nothing controversial. That wouldn’t leave much at times, but now being politically correct, I believe we can bring up those subjects, as long as we do it in an art form. Do not monopolize the conversation. Engage, act, and interact. Ask open-ended questions that are neither yes nor no. They will leave the conversation going. They can often times start a conversation. And if you are with a partner, say at a dinner party, save quarrels with your partner for another time, don’t correct them in public, make hostile comments, criticize, or ridicule.
Don’t feel you have to try too hard, laughing at every joke, or uncomfortable with each slice of silence.
Enjoy, and get out there and practice!
Dust off those lost episodes and get out there and bring back the art of conversation!
“Conversation about the weather is the last refuse of the unimaginative.” ~Oscar Wilde~
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