Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Have a Good Conversation

I have a confession: I think 99% of people are awful at making good conversation, and I am in the 1% of people who absolutely rocks at it.

I'll tell you why, too, and maybe (hopefully) you'll pick up some pointers because I'm really tired of talking to people who are bad at talking. Plus, the world is an incredibly fascinating place, when you know how to have good conversations!

There are three things that have improved my conversational skills over the years:
  1. My parents excellently modeled the behavior. My mom knows how to talk, and my dad knows how to listen. I can remember waiting so long to go home after church because my mom was yakking it up with people. She can talk to anyone at anytime about nearly everything. She is never afraid to speak up and never afraid to ask questions.

    My dad, on the other hand, is fairly quiet. He doesn't waste words in the slightest. What he does do, though, is ask good questions and intently listens to the answers.

  2. I learned that people are beautiful. In my church, we sing a song called I Am A Child of God. In my early twenties, I realized the incredible implications of that doctrine. I began to fully appreciate that everyone in the world is, in fact, a divine being with amazing talents and skills and interesting things to say. Not only do they have unique abilities and perspectives, they want to share them. They want to be heard. Everyone wants someone to pay attention to them. No one wants to be ignored or laughed at.

  3. I am curious. I want to know as much as possible about the world. I am not a computer scientist, but I want to know how computers work. I don't want to be a teacher, but I'm interested in learning about how people teach. I want to know things like how bioluminescence works, how to make Ringer's solution, and when to use who and whom in a sentence.

    I'm not just curious about things, though; I'm curious about people. I want to know why people make the decisions they do, and I want to know what people are passionate about. I don't want to study geology as a career, but I want to know why someone else does. I may not like the same music or art as someone, but I want to know why they do.

Life is better when people have smart, friendly, and meaningful conversations. I feel happy after a good conversation. I am a better person for learning something about someone else, and I am more fulfilled when people ask questions about me and actually listen to my responses.

I'm tired of people not being interested in what other people have to say, and I'm tired of people having extended conversations about TV shows instead of what they've been reading lately. C'mon, people! Talk! Use your words! Ask questions! Share an interesting thought with someone!

Thing I'm thankful for: wireless Internet at my new apartment! Yaaay!


Blogger mlh said...

Awesome. I agree. I think if we knew the right questions, we could find out the most interesting things about the people around us. I found out one friend was on competitive karaoke and the other had been training for a roller derby team. People are awesome. I wish I was less scared to talk with them, or less annoyed and selfish.

6:13 AM  
Blogger cardlady said...

AHHH THANKS Sara! You are the best, most interesting writer and conversationalist! You have learned a great deal in your young life. I am very proud of you. Love MOMMA

10:58 AM  

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