[advice] Turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Go down

[advice] Turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Post by Nerdator on Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:54 pm

Over (a little more than) the last year, I've had more friendly dates and long conversations with new people than ever. However, there is a trend I've observed in all of them: I hog them, speaking most of the time. Now, it doesn't mean I interrupt the other party or don't let them speak deliberately, but I end up talking, and talking, and talking.

While I like to believe that at least some of my chatter is interesting, it'd be unreasonable to think it's all gold, and, sometimes, the other person is definitely listening out of politeness (even if I can't immediately recognise this). The other concerns are the fact that it's inconsiderate and that I'm missing on opportunities to connect more closely with the other person; however, the most frustrating and palpable problem is that, at the end of the day, I end up knowing very little about them.

Do you have any advice on how to remedy this? While I accept all suggestions, I am particularly interested in how to catch myself in the act (of hogging), so that I make a deliberate effort to engage the other person in the conversation. Because I know how I am —about 15 minutes after the fact— but I can be quite oblivious when it still matters.
avatar
Nerdator

Posts : 67
Reputation : 9
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: [advice] Turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Post by Werel on Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:10 pm

1) Obvious answer: questions. For every anecdote you tell, have a followup question ready (e.g. story about nightmare flight -> "so what's the craziest thing that ever happened to you while traveling?"). Ask followup questions on their answers. Practice asking open-ended questions that tie into the topic. Start new topics with open-ended questions that give the other person opportunities to tell stories or expound on their history. And listen, attentively and visibly, when they talk.

2) Stop being afraid of silence. I sometimes ramble when the person I'm talking to isn't contributing anything, because people tend to get uncomfortable when there's a lull in the conversation. Let the lull happen and see if your interlocutor steps up; some people will blossom conversationally if there's a vacuum for them to fill.

3) Watch your talk time. If you feel like you've been talking for more than a minute (which usually means you've been talking for 4-5 minutes), cut yourself off and start asking some related questions/ask for the other person's perspective on the topic/whatever.

4) Let other people choose the topics at least half the time (and if it feels like they're choosing 75% of the topics, you're probably approaching half in reality. Razz). Rambling tends to be comorbid with pet topics; make sure the other person has a chance to talk about their pet topics and ramble a little too.

Dunno if that's the sort of thing you were after-- is the problem that you don't know what to do instead of ramble, or that you don't know how to catch yourself when you're rambling?
avatar
Werel
Moderator of "Meeting People and Dating Advice"

Posts : 1927
Reputation : 1132
Join date : 2014-09-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: [advice] Turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Post by Caffeinated on Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:54 pm

Werel wrote:Let the lull happen and see if your interlocutor steps up; some people will blossom conversationally if there's a vacuum for them to fill.

Related to this, is your conversational style (the style that feels normal to you, what you grew up with, etc) one in which people interrupt each other and talk over each other? Or is it a style in which people wait for a pause or for the other person to finish what they were saying before they speak? Having conversations with people whose style is not the same as your own can result in misunderstandings or one person doing way more of the talking than the other.

I've dealt with this quite a bit in my own life, although from the opposite side of the problem than you. My family's conversational style and the style in the region where I spent my childhood, is one in which it's expected that each person will wait their turn before speaking, and interrupting is very very rude. It's considered polite to wait until the other person stops speaking, and then an extra couple seconds to make sure they weren't just pausing, before taking your turn.

When I was an adolescent the family moved to a region in which the conversational style is more fast-paced, and people expect that you'll jump in when you have something to say. Waiting for a complete stop and then a couple extra seconds usually means not ever getting to speak unless the other person asks a direct question.

I have a very close friend who it took quite a while for me to manage to say much in conversation with her, and that was even with her being aware of my different conversational style. The thing that would keep happening is she would talk a bunch, and then she would pause, and the pause would last almost long enough for me to feel comfortable that it was my turn, but it would be just a bit too long for her comfort and she would start talking again just as I was opening my mouth.

tl;dr Some people have different conversational styles. Leaving a longer space of silence after you finish a story lets the other person know it's their turn.
avatar
Caffeinated

Posts : 455
Reputation : 273
Join date : 2014-12-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: [advice] Turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum