Has this ever happened to you…
You’re talking to someone (either in person or online), and it feels like you’re interrogating them? Or maybe it’s the other way around and you feel you’re being interrogated? Here’s a quick example….
“Where you from?”
“Oh ok, cool. I’ve been there a few times”
“So what do you do?”
“I’m a nurse”
“Ah alright, what made you choose that?”
“It just interested me”
“Oh ok. So what do you enjoy doing?”
Now, I’ve been in this situation on more than one occasion and I typically end the “conversation”. There have been times I’ve been asked why I ended the interaction and other times where I tell them why. In either case, the reason is the same, they don’t seem interested in carrying on a conversation. To my surprise though, sometimes they’ll retort and tell me that they are interested but that I haven’t said anything to pique their interest.
Ladies and gentlemen, if this ain’t the most aggravating shit in the world…. Look, it takes 2 people to have a conversation. I’m going to approach this from two sides here: the active participant and the passive participant.
If you’re the one doing all the question asking, you’re the active participant. I’m going to make this part short. If you’re asking questions, cracking jokes, jumping from topic to topic and still getting 2 word answers, just cut your losses and move on. If they call you back to the interaction, put the spotlight on them and give them control of the conversation. If they still don’t engage, just keep it moving.
Now, the passive participant. The one who is being interrogated and yet complaining about the conversation being boring. Yes, my beef is with you. Let me enlighten you on something… you’re the reason why the conversation is boring. Why? Because you’re not engaging. “But I want the man to lead” This is a conversation, not a household (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this). Are you asking questions? Are you responding with full answers? Ok, I’ll throw you a small bone, let’s say the other person hasn’t said anything that interests you. Fine. You do realize, you can change the topic to something you ARE interested in (I know I know, crazy idea right?). Instead of having the other person randomly choose different things to talk about and hope they land on something that interests you, why don’t you take the reigns and just choose a topic that you’re interested in? I promise the world won’t end if you do this.
What’s more, by steering the conversation to something you want to discuss, you send a few messages. You let the other person know the things you’re interested in (valuable information) and you let them know that you’re interested in them enough to want to share the things you enjoy. This lightens the mood and allows you both to engage in the conversation and get to know each other. It takes 2 people to make a conversation fun, not just 1. If you’re not contributing much but still waiting on the other person to make it interesting, then you’re the problem. It doesn’t have to be this way though, talk about something that made you laugh or smile, it’s a great way to connect with people. Conversation is critical in a relationship, especially in the beginning, jump in.
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