Sometimes you meet someone, and conversation just flows nonstop, and seamlessly. You are amazed at the end of the meet and smiling away.
And then there are some when you have no clues what to talk about, either they aren’t the talking kind or just very different from you or blah. And these are times when you want to leave the place asap and not look back.
For me atleast a good conversation is the biggest Turn on. I don’t need good looks, or bank balance, but being able to talk to someone is what keeps me in high spirits and happy. There are people around me who often question this , ask me why it is so important to be able to hold a conversation. Sometimes, we might be poles apart and yet be able to coexist they argue. But I guess for me that doesn’t work, I can’t co-exist, rather I don’t want to co-exist with anyone.
For ex, a decade or so ago, when my parents were actively looking to get me married off, they would bring about proposals of guys working in this BIG IT Firm, with a car worth x lakhs, have a house and the works- you get the drift right? And I would play along, telling them I need to meet the guy alone before taking a decision. Unfortunately that is where things would go downhill, much to their chagrin. I would meet the guy and within minutes be ready to bolt or slap them.
When I would come back home and tell family it was a NO from me, they dint get it. Their argument was “some people are silent, that doesn’t mean you can’t live with them… blah blah”. This made me wonder why they dint get the concept of “conversations and how it was essential for open communication between two people”
Similarly, there are a few in my family circle with who I have nothing in common. We chit chat for a few seconds and I walk away. There are those aunts who I have known for a few decades and every time we meet the only thing they ask me ” What is the latest movie you saw” .. Am like ‘are you serious’… these days I just smile the minute we encounter and walk away…. And then there are others with who I can yap away for hours- it would be across topics and flow seamlessly.. So much fun I tell you!
Why is it that with some we are able to hit it off instantly and it continues for days/weeks/months/years beyond? and with some it dies after a short span of time while there are some that just dont take off at all?
Is it to do with their social skills? Do they know/not know how to have a conversation?
During many of my dates, I have had guys just fire away one question after another, making me wondering if I was there for a fun date or an interview… And when they ran out of questions, it was on to fidgeting with the menu card or looking around randomly, refusing to make eye contact…
Recently, I connected with a guy on a dating app, and within minutes we were done and there was nothing but blank space. We had exchange notes on what we did for a living, our location and then the guy went silent. I gave up and moved on. But the guy messaged after a day asking how I was doing, and then silence… This was on rinse repeat mode for a few days. And one evening he sends me a msg saying ” I dont know what to ask you.. you say something na”. I took the chance and replied ” It can’t be an interview session all the time. Sometimes when there is nothing between two people, it is best to move on.”. He either did not get the message or was the Duh/desperate kind. His reply ” No, no, you say something na..”. I again replied ” Conversations need to flow easy, cannot be forced. I think its best to call it quits and move on in life.. “. He again sent a “No, but I like you, dont know what to talk…. “.. I gave up and just left it at it…
Think of all those people in our life who seem to bring out the best in us whenever you talk to them.. We feel comfortable talking to them and could go on talking forever. They could be old friends or someone we just met, but the conversation just seems to flow smoothly and naturally.How and why? Have we been trained on the art of making conversation? Well, here are a few points I could think of on this….
1. Listen without an intent to just reply – there are many who are already playing a response in their heads, that most times they fail to listen. Don’t do that. Actively listen to what the other person is saying and then respond accordingly. Its alright if you have nothing to contribute!
2. Its not always about you – Don’t hog the conversation about your fun/show off/sob stories. After briefly talking about something that happened in your life, shift the focus to the other person. It is good to have them talk about their life. You just might learn something new!
3. Body language and gestures – it is always good to use hands when talking, but don’t go over the top by flailing your arms about. It sometimes intimidates the other person and they shy away. Similarly, hands folded across your chest is a big NO NO esp if you are standing and talking. When sitting, don’t have your head in their face or keep moving your head away when the other person is talking to you. Let them know you are listening to them.
I have the habit of nodding or saying “umm. ah. ok..” when someone is talking [ be it in person or on phone. just my way of acknowledging that am listening to what they are saying.. but I know of few who think this is unnecessary..well, I am happy doing this, cos silence could make the other person wonder if you are even there on the other side”]
4. Occasional pauses and silence is good – you dont have to go on and on and on. Sometimes a brief second of silence is good. Also, pause between sentences, dont want it to sound like lecture. Dont fidget, or pick up your phone and continue texting when the other person is talking…
5. Interesting/offbeat topics – there is more to life than work and home.. Look for some other interests to share. If you are learning a language, an art form or travelled to somewhere new do share stories and ask for the same from the other person. You can also show off photographs on the phone or something you bought from there [if you are carrying it with you].. Or if nothing comes to your mind, you could talk about the place you are at, the coffee shop/restaurant…
Well, let me know your thoughts on how important conversations are to you!!