Dear Genteel Ladies,
Each and every lady wishes to wax eloquent in our conversations with others, do we not? Here are a few guidelines to help you in your quest to engage in eloquent conversations.
First the definition of converse is: To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk
I'm afraid our society has forgotten the "exchange" part of this definition. Too often our idea of a good time with a friend is the incessant prattle of "me, myself, and mine" for hours on end, without a care given to the thoughts, ideas or feeling of our friend.
I was brought up to believe that each conversation should be a delightful pursuit in drawing out my guest. It is a game of sorts where it is my duty to become fully enthralled with the habits, thoughts, and ways of another human being. What values does she hold dear? What are her interests, pass times, and hobbies? What new ideas can I learn from her?
If both of us have this understanding, we will engage each other, and therefore the conversation will be a give and take of ideas, thoughts and feelings.
1. Make eye contact frequently.
2. Talk about things you know she is interested in and/or find out her interests. (If she dislikes computers, but you love them, talking about them would not be a good idea.)
3. Use the "echo" method to show you are listening, even if you do not agree with her thoughts on a certain issue. Sometimes you need more time to think through the idea she is suggesting before expressing an opinion. This response works well in both cases. Ex: She states that she believes the grass is purple. Instead of laughing at her idea or vehemently disagreeing, you could say, "So you think the grass is purple? What has led you to this belief?"
4. Try to find something that you think she does well and sincerely compliment her.
5. Do NOT monopolize the conversation.
6. In areas where you feel yourself to be an expert, show a little humility. (If you are the expert dishwasher and your friend is a budding novice do not discourage her by giving tons of advice.) It's OK to give a couple of hints or tricks, but try to encourage her without coming across as a know it all.
7. Remember the "Golden Rule", If you wouldn't want your friend to say it to or about you, don't say it to or about her.