If you find social interactions to be a breeze, can you impart some of your wisdom on this envied ability? [more inside]
All of a sudden, I've found myself in more challenging academic circumstances, surrounded by more advanced students and really incredible faculty (yay!). But, I'm constantly afraid that what I have to say is dumb. How do I address that so that I'm not afraid to start participating? [more inside]
I am the sort of person I can't stand - an uptight conversationalist. Please help me be less controlling in conversation. [more inside]
A close-ish friend and colleague of mine has started to show his true colors in the past few weeks with inflammatory statements on various social issues. I am disgusted, but I want to turn our conversations into learning opportunities. He's just now starting to realize that his beliefs are problematic and he's open to educating himself, but I don't even know where to start. [more inside]
If you come off as dumb and/or uninformed in social situations, how do you correct this? [more inside]
Can these conversational hiccups be saved? [more inside]
A conversation is in progress. Scene cuts for travel to a new location. Conversation picks right back up at the new location as if there was no time in between. Is there a name for this trope?
Bones is a show that seems to have it in every opening sequence. As travel in DC is far from instant, it is like they stop talking for 30 minutes to 2 hours sometimes. Is there a name for it?
There was a story/performance I heard on some (probably NPR) radio show within the last 10 years. It was a man and a woman meeting at a party, and instead of saying things to each other they described what they would say to each other, kind of a meta-conversation. [more inside]
Looking for podcasts that could best be described as "really smart people shooting the breeze." Favorite examples would the various Slate podcasts that feature three writers discussing a range of topics, as well as NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. The subject matter can be about anything, though looking for something a bit more conversational and wide-ranging than, say, a panel of experts discussing their fields. Any suggestions?
How do I avoid shop talk on dates? [more inside]
How do you honestly and politely let someone know when you don't like something that they absolutely love without opening the door for them to try and convert you into liking it? [more inside]
I'm tired of dreading large social gatherings where I am bored/bore people. How do I step up my game and engage people in conversation such that it is enjoyable and interesting for all involved? I want to avoid small talk. Please give me tips, tricks, mantras to make it better! [more inside]
Recently I spent hours with a former co-worker gossiping about our former workplace. We didn't actually connect or strengthen our own friendship; I just felt shitty after. My therapist labeled this conversation/habit "social currency" because workplace gossip was something impersonal to talk about that could ease conversation, but didn't result in actual sharing. But I've Googled the phrase and don't see "social currency" defined in that way. Is there a phenomenon by another name that she was referring to? [more inside]
I'm starting a book club and need to come up with a name. [more inside]
I'm a single guy. I go to a yoga class. There are lots of attractive women in my yoga class. I'd like to talk to some of them, but I suck at talking to strangers. I need prescripted lines. Not pickup lines, just making-a-basic-connection lines. Ideas please. [more inside]
Help me learn to exit conversations, interrupt people, and generally be more assertive with the big groups I'm in charge of. [more inside]
I just got back from a party, and I noticed one major problem I have with socializing. I'll try to describe the problem here.
It feels like I am bad at directing the flow of conversation back to the person. It's as if the person is oppressing me with his/her words. Instead of bouncing the conversation back, I simply bear it, and respond weakly with an answer that suffices. [more inside]
Where can my girlfriend and I sit down, relax, read, and talk for a long while during our visit to London? When weather is good, we love parks. When it's raining, we're at a loss. Are there any especially good libraries or other places for this kind of thing? Thanks!
A question for those who have suffered severe depression: Did you have circular conversations where you asked for help and then shot down all suggestions/offers? What did you get out of those conversations? What were you really trying to achieve? What did you really need to hear? [more inside]
I need a new job, and I have no idea what job I might be good at and enjoy. Please give me ideas for some jobs that I haven't thought of. I'm in my late 20s and working as a research analyst for a large firm, and I can't take the feeling that I'm not doing anything worthwhile (or even enjoyable) with my life. I'm not sure what to do. Do you know of any unconventional careers that might be a good fit? Please give me an idea of where to get started. [more inside]
I hate responding to small-talk interrogations. I'm a private person, and I just don't feel ok with giving relative strangers answers to personal-feeling questions, even though the questions themselves may be fairly innocuous. I also get confused and flustered when people ask me a lot of questions, and I will make mistakes, even though they are about me. How can I avoid answering these kinds of questions? [more inside]
I'm interested in dating and otherwise be-friend a guy. We have common interests and he seems to be "nice" and has a high level of intelligence.
That said - Every conversation revolves around him. I love to ask people questions and let them "talk freely about their life or whatever"... but at some point you want to have a two-sided conversation.
How can I politely make this point without coming across in the wrong way? This is not someone I have known longer then a couple dates.
When someone tells you some fact or story, is it rude to tell someone you already knew that? [more inside]
Can you build a successful romantic relationship without conversational "flow"? [more inside]
What are some great conversation starting questions to ask young people over dinner? [more inside]
What phrases are reflexively on the tip of your tongue? [more inside]
I'm an uncle to three great kids, who are 12, 9 and 4. I love talking to them and listening to what they have to say about whatever they want to talk about. Our conversations end up being pretty fun and freewheeling, but sometimes I wonder if I should be putting more effort into what we talk about. Am I over-thinking this? More inside. [more inside]
I have been dating a lovely man for two months. We met online. I'm concerned he may drink too much and would like to talk to him about it. [more inside]
My sweet, slightly socially awkward boyfriend is about to meet my parents. When he's nervous or excited, he tends to talk a mile a minute and fill all silences with chatter, sometimes talking over others, or monologuing, or butting in before someone is really done speaking. Is there any way I can gently, er, make this stop? [more inside]
What are some fun games/safe foolproof topic for awkward silences? [more inside]
I've recently realized that I rarely make eye contact with people, so I've been trying to get better by consciously remembering to do it in conversation. But, why is it when I do make eye contact with people, it's terrifying? [more inside]
I'm no good at conversation. Should I bother with dating? [more inside]
Suppose I would like to automatically record and transcribe all conversations that happen around me. Is this technically feasible? What products and services would you use to accomplish this goal? [more inside]
What strategies do people have to deal with casual bigots when the situation mandates basic politeness? [more inside]
I went to a dinner party the other night and was totally miserable. I literally had nothing to say the whole night. I'm going to another one this weekend and I need something to talk about. [more inside]
I can be very clueless sometimes, so I need your help: was my friend hinting at me or just making conversation? [more inside]
How can I stop a clearly very unhappy person from driving me out of my favourite hang-out with his lengthy recitals of grievances? [more inside]
I recently had a very confusing break-up conversation that I am having a lot of trouble decoding. [more inside]
In one of Kundera's books, he describes conversation so aptly that I've been using his description (with attribution) for years. But I really feel like I should quote it exactly and for as long as I've been paraphrasing him, I've been trying to remember which damn book it's in so that I can stop paraphrasing and start quoting. Help me, hive mind! [more inside]
How can a person be more aware of their personality flaws? [more inside]
I have a need to record phone conversations that occur on an iPhone. What are my options? [more inside]
I want to be able to come up with better analogies to describe life and work situations. I'm thinking of the kind that the folks in The Bugle would come up with.
I am a temp employee in a very small office. Obviously I can't comfortably say what kind. My boss made a dangerous error Friday, repeated the error today and then covered up both errors, in front of me, and not giving me any plausible deniability of knowin what she was doing. I reported this over her head and am now nervous about handling the fallout. [more inside]
Is a man who pretends to be friends with a woman when he is actually interested in more than friendship doing something shady?
Should said woman (myself) drop him as a friend or give him a chance to adjust? He’s a good friend and generally a positive, interesting and charming friend to have (smart, insightful, witty, capable of deep conversation, trustworthy with secrets, understanding…). I’m simply not interested in dating him (for many reasons, the most glaring of which is that he’s sexist in subtle ways that I couldn’t tolerate in a partner), but I value and love his friendship and conversation. I do not want to date him, ever. I don’t know if I should salvage our friendship or let it go, for his sake and mine...I've included the details below but I think this summary captures what I am trying to intellectually and emotionally figure out. [more inside]
Quick, blush-inducing question: remember the diner scene
in Silver Linings Playbook? I would like more scenes from movies/TV like that (basically, a conversation which plays out like an impromptu tango, and in which one/both parties finds themselves unexpectedly/uncomfortably/obviously aroused).
I grew up as a painfully shy, socially anxious extrovert. No friends that weren't online, could not talk to anyone. This was not a fun combination, so after Highschool I worked on fixing it and I've gotten better. I can make small talk, break the ice, carry on a general conversation. But this is not what I want. [more inside]
Sometimes when I am in a three-person conversation the other two people make lots of eye contact but I am excluded. I hate this so much! Am I doing something wrong? How do I make them include me? [more inside]
Trying to find a reference about a type of conversation where what ever you say the other person will have an opposing statement, not because they disagree but because they say something "anti" in every case. "Confrontational conversation" maybe??
I work with a group of colleagues that I get along well with, mainly male. However, certain subjects come up, my Sexism Klaxon starts going off... but any comments I make always get batted down with "chill out we're only joking" or something similar. Can you give me tips to not always come out of these conversations either seething with frustration or feeling like the Grand Ruiner Of Conversations? [more inside]
I like a guy but I don't think of myself as attractive. Obviously, he is attractive to me, but I also think he is considered attractive by most people. People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level, so I'm wary about this already. Plus I really don't know how to talk to him because I've placed him on this pedestal and I am completely in awe. How do I approach him? [more inside]