How to Have a Meaningful Conversation

Meaningful conversations have a great effect on moods and relationships. Deep and thoughtful communication cannot be taught by simply reading an article, but these tips provide a good framework for your discussion.


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    Choose a good person. A friend, family member, or close acquaintance should suffice.
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    Sit down in a quiet place. When talking, you don't want to be interrupted by surrounding noise. Because of this, choose proper times for sitting outside so the noises of cars and birds will not overwhelm you. If you choose to stay inside, remember to have a private setting for the conversation and have a chair/seat that is comfortable so you won't be interrupted by awkward pain.
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    Choose a good topic. As long as you don't focus on yourself and brag, any topic could be good. If you have any difficulties expressing feelings, you should inform the other person. A conversation like this one is a great opportunity to confess anything wrong that you have done or any secrets that you hold.
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    Don't lie. A lying tongue is one of the most reviled characteristics that anyone can have in almost all cultures, and it is condemned by most philosophers as a vice. Many an argument will end with one person exaggerating, being hostile/defensive, or showing unnecessary anger only for that person to be proved wrong. Don't let this be you; avoid letting your emotions take you over.
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    Be ready to accept anything that the other person may say. True confessions of deeply-held feelings can be painful, but no matter how staggering, keep your cool.
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    Look at them. Unless your culture condemns it in certain situations, try to look directly into the other person's eyes, because this builds trust.The eyes are truly the window to the soul, and your sincerity can be confirmed by your trustworthy expression. Avoid sending mixed messages by speaking seriously while having a playful or non-caring expression.
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    Don't mumble. Mumbling is a sign of covert anger, resentment, disrespect, or sadness. If you feel awkward in the discussion, say so without resorting to mumbling; it is better to avoid any confusion.
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    Don't get distracted. If there is a television playing in the background, turn it off if you know that you can't focus with it on. Put away your cell phone, and for goodness sakes, do not wear earphones of any kind while the other person is talking. Eliminating these distractions should help you focus.
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    Honestly Try to Listen. The general tendency of most people is to keep thinking of what they have to say when the other person is talking. Try to genuinely understand what the other person is trying to communicate. That will make the conversation a "conversation" and prevent you from interrupting too much and boring the other person.


  • Using colloquial language is fine in everyday conversation, but avoid using too much slang or too many vulgarities in your speech unless you share that with your trusted person. This will make you seem uneducated or crude if they're not used to it. If they are, then suddenly avoiding vulgarity or slang may seem like you're creating more emotional distance. Let the other person's level of slang and rude language prevail.
  • Don't interrupt the other person while they are talking. If both of you are constant interrupters and don't mind this, relax about it. As with vulgarity, let the other person's comfort level prevail. If they interrupt a lot, just interrupt back and treat that as the type of conversation it is.
  • Take care of the other person's emotional needs in the conversation. That is, be kind and caring, think about the other person and don't do anything to hurt him or her.
  • Try not to have a crowd of people while you are having a deep, meaningful conversation.
  • If you have to go to the bathroom, you can either hold it or say "Excuse me" and go.
  • Avoid gossip. Make sure that your discussions are positive and uplifting, and not about critiquing others or putting them down.
  • Don't walk away when they are talking. Doing this will show that you don't want to be around them.
  • Avoid starting conversations while drunk. Better yet, avoid drinking too much alcohol in social situations. You may say/do something that you regret, and find that you have lost a friend the next day.
  • Sit up straight to show that you are alert, even if you don't normally have good posture. Or lean forward in shared intimacy.


  • Some of the people who seem harsh and mean-spirited have important issues where they either are at odds with you or think they are. If that's the case, try to discover what that passionate issue is and come to peace about it. Defensiveness usually has a reason.
  • Don't put up with bullying or think of it as a meaningful conversation even if the bully says it is.
  • Some people are naturally harsh and mean-spirited. They aren't going to want to have much to do with you, no matter what you do for them. With these people, it is best to simply walk away. If you have said all that you can, there isn't anything else to do.
  • Don't think that a long detailed conversation about everything that's wrong with you is deep or meaningful unless its content is genuinely constructive critique. Personal criticism can be anything from helpful and encouraging to personal attacks intended to leave you feeling belittled, hopeless and insecure. Pressure to change something about yourself like your religion or your drinking habits may be well meant but when it isn't, you can tell afterwards by asking other people's opinions. Telling "personal criticism" from "supportive critique" is difficult for anyone, don't feel bad if it takes a few days to sort out everything that was said especially if it was cruelty labeled as constructive.

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Categories: Conversation Skills