These days we are finding it harder and harder to have quality conversations and to connect with people – now I know I do not have to go into the cause of this, as we all know the copious amounts of articles out there explaining the dire consequences of social media addiction. Yet, is there a way to bridge this gap and gain that in-depth conversation with not only our lovers and spouses but also with our friends and the people around us?
The answer is yes, all it takes is the commitment and willingness of both parties involved to really put in the time and effort, forget about the outside world for a moment and allow that spark to either rekindle or start anew:
1. Ask open-ended questions
A conversation is a two-way street and should never revolve around only yourself. Ask questions that will engage the person you are trying to converse with and then actively participate in that conversation. Do not let them realize that you are asking just for the sake of asking something.
A good way to ensure that the conversation does not simply end with a yes or no answer to your question is for you to ask open-ended ones where they will have to go into a little more detail and reveal what it is that makes them tick.
2. Practice great listening skills
This is probably the key to a smooth and effortless quality conversation and will guarantee to satisfy your in-depth taste buds. People often feel neglected and ignored when it comes to participating in a conversation, be present and show your interest in what the person is saying.
By showing that you are genuinely finding what the person is saying intriguing, whether you agree with it or not, you will make them feel more comfortable and willing to open up. This can be done through verbal cues, body language, and paraphrasing.
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3. Make sure you genuinely relate
Another aspect that will allow the other person to be at ease is to find common ground with them and to start to passionately talk about the things you are both interested. This not only shows that you are thinking about their interest, but that you perhaps have the same taste and opinion on things, which provides a glimpse in the window of future time spent together.
4. Screen your body language
The way in which you subconsciously present yourself is a significant factor in the way the conversation will go. Are you confident? Are you too self-centered? Does the person see you as open or closed off?
Remember that eye contact is a key ingredient in body language as well; this will be the deciding factor for whether or not the person will feel comfortable enough to talk to you about the things that matter to him or her. If your eyes are constantly wondering it either shows you are uncomfortable or uninterested.
This does not mean that you have to constantly be keeping eye contact with the other person. The majority of the time, while they are talking, your eyes should be engaged with theirs, whilst you are talking you can maintain eye-contact about 50% of the time.
Non-verbal cues will also show you are involved and actively listening. Every once in a while nod your head to show you are listening and use your facial expression to show that you understand what the person is saying. This will also show the other person that you either agree or disagree, which can take the conversation further.
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5. Give them time to understand the meaning of your words
Do not talk too fast, as the person might not catch what you are trying to say – rather slow down your pace and be concise and clear on what you are saying. Remember you have to make the person feel like you have all the time in the world for them. This will make them feel appreciated and important – you will seem centered, collected, and compassionate.
In conclusion, the key to building or strengthening any relationship is good conversation skills. This does not necessarily happen overnight, but it can be practiced and perfected. However, this is a journey worth embarking on and one you will never regret. Not only will you meet and understand new people or people you already know, but you will also learn more about yourself, and thus expand on your own self-awareness.
As we all know, a person should never stop growing and having in-depth and quality conversations with a wide variety of people will ensure that you reach the skies with your new-found length and strength. Happy conversing!