Think of the last time you asked someone how they are doing can be a loaded question. Either they have something interesting to say or they proceed to complain about everything that is bothering them. Maybe that negative Nancy is even you?
Or, how about when you are sitting with an acquaintance or family member and there is nothing to talk about. One word answers leading to big open holes in the conversation where you are simply wishing the whole thing would end through any sort of interruption. Good conversation takes work. Good conversation takes awareness.
What both of these situations are alerting you to is that you may have a few issues going on you need to address through some small exercises in mindfulness.
- Listen to the person instead of talking at them. Good conversation is a two-way street. Tune in to what they are saying and build from it. Pay attention to body language on your side and theirs.
- Focus regularly on the positives in your life. There is good around you going on in big and small ways. Bring them to the surface. People will smile along with your refreshing points of happiness.
- Put yourself in others’ shoes. Think about who you are talking to, how they might be feeling in general and about what you are saying. How can you make their day a little bit better?
- Do more interesting things. Maybe you’ve become complacent, sitting on the couch too much, not getting up and out there, zombie-ing out on social media. Time to actively create those good times to weave into wonderfully engaging stories.
A good thing to keep in mind is that the world doesn’t revolve around us, we revolve around the world. If you are going to bother talking with someone make it count. You’ll both be happier for it.
To get good conversation started try these insights on:
12 Golden Rules of Great Conversation, Lifehack.org
100 Ways to Answer the Question, “How are you?”, ChronicBabe