Secrets of Success

Conversation: I Ask A Question, You Answer/you Ask A Question, I Answer. Repeat.



Nothing is worse than trying to drag a conversation out of someone...especially if it is someone you are forced to socialize with. If someone asks you a question, answer thoughtfully and use more than "I don't know" or monosyllabic answers. At the very least, ask a question back. Example below...

More Information:

Me: Hey, how was your day today?
You: (Bad) Okay. (Good) It was great, we did XYZ and ABC. How was yours? (Compromise) Okay, how was yours?
Me: (In response to "Good"/"Compromise") We did 123 and 456. What do you have planned for tomorrow?
You: (Bad) Nothing. (Good) Not much, cleaning. You?

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Member Comments

  • We shouldn't expect people to fit a mold of our choosing. There is, however, a difference between being rude and being reserved. The lady with the front loading washer was rude. Someone who does not supply an abundance of information about oneself is simply reserved. I have two young adult sons, one of whom is an open book and the other one chooses to limit outgoing information. Both have their advantages. With one I have a more lively conversation but it's the other one in whom I confide. I would not try to change either one of them. - by HIKERJOHNSON
    I was limited by space, so I apologize for any confusion. I see both points of view, but to clarify, I'm specifically talking about my friend's wife. There is a basic courtesy that you extend to a spouse's friend--especially if we were both in their wedding.

    Imposing oneself on a stranger and expecting chit-chat wasn't what I was speaking of, but if someone is being nice, it never hurts to be kind in return.

  • Not everyone is interested in small talk, in knowing everyone they work with/sit next to a concert/see on the bus/insert situation here, there is such a breed as introverts and they do have the right to not talk on demand. If someone gives you one word answers or does not seem like they want to talk, they are giving you a pretty clear message that they don't want to engage. Leave them alone ~ you'll be them and you a favour.
    - by ANDI_3K
  • Some people think that rules of civility donít apply to them. There seems to be a fad of refusing to engage in small talk. They are often rude. I overheard a woman ask another if she liked her front load washer. She answered, "No!" The woman asked why because she was considering buying one. The woman tersely said, "You asked me if I liked my washer and I said no!" Fortunately, another woman saw the incident. She walked to the stunned woman, smiled as she touched her elbow and guided her from the offending woman. A few times, Iíve been stuck in social situations with people who didnít want to talk. I spend the time with my pleasant thoughts. Thereís no need to force myself on those who donít want to know me. - by DIANE7786

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