Simple rules for conversation

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We talk about your work,
how your boss is such a jerk
We talk about your church
and your head when it hurts

~Toby Keith~

Sometimes we find ourselves in unpleasant situations because we’ve said something wrong or just in a wrong manner. Although the art of conversation looks quite simple, there are many rules to follow in order not to create a bad impression.

1. You shouldn’t be the only one to talk even if you are the greatest story-teller ever. Even if you’ve been to the North Pole and you’ve seen polar bears and whales that doesn’t mean that you should talk the entire evening. Avoid using “I” in everything you say because the others will think you are egocentric.

2. Avoid repeating the same idea even if it’s brilliant, don’t jump to a conclusion after every statement you hear from the others and don’t talk in general about people after just hearing one case. All these would only lead to one result:

-if you are the host, your guests will start finding excuses: they have children at home, a project to finish…

-if you are a guest the others will avoid you and you will find yourself in an uncomfortable position.

3. If you are not sure about the meaning of a word try not to use it just to impress. It’s not a shame to use a dictionary when necessary and this way you won’t make a fool out of yourself. Many times people discuss about personalities or about the international situation. If you don’t know how to pronounce a name you should ask because no one was born to know it all.

4. Even if you are right about something, not only once but a million times, let the other person finish and then tell your opinion about the subject. Express your opinions calmly and try not to be ironic and violent in order not to spoil everyone’s evening. Try to be respectful, especially in what involves the elderly. By being calm the others will be more interested in what you are saying.

5. When talking to someone try to look him or her in the eye so or else that person will think you are not sincere or that you are just not interested.

6. When supporting an idea try to use rational arguments; don’t approve an idea you are not sure of and don’t contradict everything just to be original. You won’t attract the others’ attention in a pleasant way.

If the “opponent” has had more arguments than you and proved to know more about the subject don’t leave looking offended or upset. Smile and put an end to the discussion in a polite way or even more let yourself convinced.

7. When meeting someone new, talk about yourself but seize the right moment to let the other person speak too. Don’t ask too personal questions especially questions that could affect the one you are talking to such as “So how come that you divorced after only a year?”

These are just a few rules but in fact there are many more to follow. What is the most important is to think about hoe the others feel and to respect them. And there is always something to learn in order to be successful, and this depends greatly on your ability to interact with other people; being able to carry a conversation is important for everybody.