There is a conversation faux-pas that seems obvious to most, oblivious to others. And as we at Awkward Silence chat to people about conversation, we hear many people complain about it again & again.
It’s the failure to bounce-back a question to keep the conversation rolling along.
Someone meets somebody at a social gathering and they’re getting to know them. Or trying to, at least. They keep asking the person about themselves. They ask questions about their hobbies, their passions, their opinions. The person answers, but fails to bounce any questions back.
It can be frustrating for the one making the effort to ask.
The reason the person isn’t bouncing the questions back is one of a few reasons. Perhaps they are being rude and don’t want to talk to you. Perhaps they are so self-centred they are happy just to talk about themselves.
But the reason isn’t always that volatile. Some people are cripplingly shy. Others are just too socially naïve to realise they should be doing it.
If this isn’t you, you don’t need to read on. Read one of our other excellent articles instead. But if this is you, please please please read on.
Bouncing back a question is one of the easiest ways to keep a conversation moving. After you have answered a question, you repeat the question back at the person to hear their point of view.
And for the shy, it means you only need to do half the talking.
It’s also respectful. You are showing a mutual interest in them and demonstrating an effort to get to know them.
Don't forget to bounce questions back after you've answered.
On the course of thinking on a new line, we can stumble on an idea trail. If we follow it, that idea starts to take shape.
When we're in a forced conversation, the temptation is to default to light filler topics. But it's easy to have a gripping conversation with someone you have never met before. It could be more memorable than you expect.
The future is here. This is the new approach to conversation - the unexpected, the unconventional, the unpredictable.
When you talk to someone, you realise they have passions, struggles, quirks & hopes. The same as you. This is how conversation builds acceptance of diversity.
When we bump into someone we haven't seen in a while, conversation doesn't always come easily. What should you talk about after all these years?
The fascinating thing about children is that they see the world in a different way to what you do. Even more, they have tremendous imaginations. Why wouldn’t you want to tap into that?
Complaining people are boring. If you need to get things off your chest, apply some strategy to it.