WHAT IF I TALK A LOT, BUT SAY A LITTLE?: THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION
Updated: May 3
Many times I've heard the phrase: "there's no topic of conversation" when my friends or acquaintances tell me that they've dated someone. I've even used it when I just haven't had a good time chatting with someone. And I think many of you, as well as I, detest that awkward and tense silence when none of the conversationalists know what to say; I think the phrase: "there is no topic of conversation" is often misused: we may have a thousand topics in our heads what we could be talking about, what we don't know is how to carry on a conversation.
In this article, I could give you a list of very interesting topics to talk with your partner, your boss or your brother: nature, love, conspiracy theories, etc. But I believe that a conversation owes its 90% to how the interlocutors manage to link different topics and thus form a pleasant conversation. So, that your next conversation doesn't seem like a team presentation, where each member did the part of it separately, here are some tips to carry out a pleasant conversation and mainly: comfortable.
To get started, I would like to rely on the diagram inspired by the DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) pyramid by Thomas S. Eliot (image on the left) where we, as thinking beings, have a wealth of data, theories and beliefs in our head that later we will see and verify as our life passes, giving rise to experiences. The same goes for speech.
As I've already said, many times the difficulty in starting a conversation with someone is not the lack of ideas or topics, but how to develop them and how to put them together to give rise to a comfortable conversation.
Usually this happens, because in the first place we feel ashamed to bring up the topic we want to deal with, for fear of what the receiver will think. It has happened to me, and in our mind there's that intimidating filter of: what will they say? Although, I think that it must be considered to not hurting those who are listen to us, we shouldn't let it define our relationships and how we show ourselves to the world.
In my first 24 years of life, I have learned that what you say owes much of its importance to the confidence you say it. Attention: this doesn't mean that you are allowed to say this morning you saw a unicorn outside your house, but it does mean to communicate what you genuinely think and believe, as long as it doesn't hurt to those who are listening to you.
Keep in mind that you have to discover the other person. Yes, you may have known her for years, but the saying: you never finish meeting someone, is true. With this premise, I assure you that you have a list of interesting topics to discuss with the other person and mainly: interest in knowing what they think about these certain topics.
Ask their opinions and share yours. Respect what the other conversationalist thinks and avoid arguing with him if there's no so much familiarity in your relationship yet.
Give your own opinions confidently and be interested in what the other person is saying. This will create a more comfortable atmosphere and lead to more conversation, opening the panorama of topics that your interlocutor feels comfortable to discuss with you. Don't take anything for granted by trying to assume what the other person is thinking and be opened to listen different positions than yours.
Cultivate yourself more: read, watch movies, find out what happens around you, because far from giving you topics of conversation, this will help you to know how to express your ideas and unite them with each other by the context in which they develop.
If there's still not so much familiarity, you can avoid controversial topics, such as: politics, religion or how much the other person earns in their work; it can be a bit uncomfortable, therefore, you better avoid to talk about those topics. If you plan to touch them, try to say: "if you don't mind talking about this" or "with your forgiveness".
Attention: if it doesn't work and the conversation doesn't flow as you would have liked, do not feel all the responsibility, remember that a dialogue depends on two people and perhaps the occasion or the circumstances weren't the appropriated. Relax and keep in mind that life is full of opportunities and people.
Surely many of you, as I, have rejected appointments or meetings with people that you think: you have nothing in common with. You've missed out different relationships, connections, and experiences, just for fear of not having a topic of conversation during your interaction. Dare: accept to go for a coffee with that person, go to that party where you don't know anyone, go out and show yourself, remember that you have to keep in mind: saying your ideals with confidence and without fear, but also with respect.