Nothing beats a great conversation. When you truly connect with someone, time stands still. Before you know it, you’ve been speaking for hours. That is the sign of a great conversation! Unfortunately we don’t always get this right and sometimes you may wonder, ‘Do people get bored when talking to you?’
There are few miseries worse than a night filled with empty and boring conversation. Occasionally you glance over at the bar, or look around the room trying to avoid awkward silences which leave you wishing that you never even came out in the first place.
Keeping people interested in you and your conversations is necessary for good relationships, however this can be extremely hard for some to accomplish. In lieu of this, I have decided to compile a list of do’s and don’ts to help you navigate this tricky terrain.
Keep Someone Interested #1: Speak 20% of the time, and listen 80% of the time
This may sound counterintuitive, after all the point of this article is to make you a more interesting conversationalist. But what most socially anxious people don’t realise is that the most interesting people are the ones that listen the most, and ask the most questions. After all that is how you show someone that you are interested in them. Listen more and you will discover more topics to talk about based on what the other person has said.
Keep Someone Interested #2: Practice being well-informed
When you do have to speak, it helps to be well-informed. The more that you have to talk about, the better. This of course does not mean that you ought to be starting a conversation with someone and running through a handful of topics one after another, rather the more knowledgeable you are even if it’s only a handful of topics, the better the chances are that you and your conversation partner will have something interesting to talk about. A tip to help you be more informed in conversations, is to peruse the headlines in the news before attending any event. Human beings also love to learn something new and interesting so if you have learnt something recently, chances are your conversational partner may like to hear it too.
Keep Someone Interested #3: Play the part of a Student
If people are comfortable talking about a subject you are unfamiliar with, be curious and ask more questions about it. Most people love being in a position where they can teach people about something new. It puts them in a position where they feel powerful. It helps if you show a healthy interest and put effort into following what’s being said.
Keep Someone Interested #4: Practice ellababorting & Asking open ended questions
Nothing is worse than speaking to someone with vigour and verve, and they answer with a simple “Yes” and no elaboration. One word answers are not allowed, consider this your biggest lesson after today, simply responding ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is conversational suicide! if you’re trying to be more interesting, elaborate on why you feel a certain way or give people more context, and explanation to keep things interesting.
By the same token, you should never ask closed-ended questions that prompt a “yes” or “No” answer from the person you’re speaking with like, “Do you watch Breaking Bad?” – “No, I don’t.” This closes the conversation.
Rather ask open ended questions, like “What kind of movies or series do you enjoy?” Now you have given them a fun way to engage, with numerous outcomes.
These mindset shifts can make a big difference to how you view conversations, no longer do you need to be afraid that people get bored when talking to you. The great news is that once you start to have more interesting conversations, your brain will realise you are capable of doing and suddenly interesting opportunities will start to present themselves to you in different shapes and forms.