Life is too short to be in a boring conversation.
So, why do we have them? Honestly, I gave that up in 2005. Do you know why? Because there is no reason to ever have a boring conversation. Here are two top tricks to avoid having a boring conversation:
- Change the conversation by asking a different question in a different subject. Everyone has something interesting to say. It’s your job to find it! For years, my Grandpa Charlie bored me senseless with his talk about Iowa sports. He knew every event, player, and stats, and loved sharing his knowledge with us. He was an equal opportunist. He’d talk about the women’s track team, as much as he would talk about the men’s wrestling team. It didn’t matter to me. I found both, equally dull. It actually affected out relationship. I would consciously try and not sit next to him at family gatherings. Until, one Thanksgiving dinner, I had no choice. I was stuck. The usual patter started, ‘Did you know that Iowa recruited a new young man from Keouk, Iowa? His favorite colour is blue and he won his high school championships’. I decided to change the record. I started asking him about his youth. How he and Grandma had ended up moving to Waterloo, Iowa. He started sharing with me stories that I had never heard before and I was enthralled. Then it dawned on me; Grandpa was interesting. I just hadn’t been asking the right questions. Nor, had I ever tried steering the conversation to a topic that both parties enjoyed. This was a lightbulb moment for me!
However, on the rare occasion that you have tried and tried, and the conversation feels like it is starting to hold you hostage, there is a second manouever to employ. It’s called the Graceful Exit.
- People seem to have a hard time with graceful exits. Think about the sentence: ‘It was nice talking to you, but I am just going to look for my friend now’. There’s nothing difficult about saying this sentence. So why do people find exiting conversations so difficult?
There are two sides to why people find exiting conversations so difficult: the practical side and the emotional side. In next week’s post, I will go over exactly how to do it. But, for now, understand that there is no need to ever be in a boring conversation. Either change the subject by asking the person a question about something that is mutually interesting, or make a graceful exit and leave the conversation.