Handling a bad conversationalist is no easy task. We talk to several people throughout the day and often encounter those who are not easy to talk to at work, at school, in life in general. Instead of avoiding them, it is our responsibility to learn how to deal with this type of situation. Check out these useful tips for handling a bad conversationalist.
1. Be Patient
I know how handling a bad conversationalist can be stressful. Try counting to ten, breathing and finally listening. By doing so you are being respectful and avoiding any sort of conflict. Remember: patience is a virtue.
2. Pay Attention
If you were already pushed into a conversation, there is really no scape. The only thing to do now is to pay attention. When we pay attention, we catch details that we would easily miss when we are distracted. Besides the conversation itself, try focusing on the person’s expressions and body language and you will be able to decode the full message.
3. Change Topics
A boring topic makes a bad conversationalist, especially when it doesn’t come to an end as soon as you'd like. In this case, feel free to change topics whenever you get the chance. If the person doesn’t realize it, insist a bit more and talk about something else. The person will either stop talking about the same thing or go away. It’s a win-win solution.
4. Ask Questions
I am a curious person and I ask questions all the time. Learning a new subject feeds our minds, regardless of that being useful or not. Our brains can absorb a huge amount of information and average humans use less than 10% of the brain capacity. Yes, you can actually benefit from a bad conversationalist, so demonstrate interest by popping questions!
Listening to someone’s story and offering your support is an empathy exercise. There was a reason for someone to approach you and start a conversation. Maybe you were the only person in the room, but the fact is that you were there when that person needed you. It’s easier to open up with a stranger than with a relative or friend. Putting yourself into someone’s shoes will cheer up the person and will also make you feel good.
6. Be Positive
A positive attitude can change the development of the conversation. When we presume something isn’t nice, we are already preparing our minds for a negative feeling. Next time you spot a bad conversationalist coming your way, try to think of positive things. You will feel lighter instead of feeling a burden on your shoulders whenever you have to talk to someone who's not so pleasant.
7. Provide Feedback
Someone may be a bad conversationalist simply because no one has had the guts to tell her the truth yet. Often times a nice or interesting person is misinterpreted as a poor conversationalist because of poor communication skills. By providing feedback you are helping the person develop and also spare others and yourself of being stuck in a boring talk. Feedback is the key to a productive talk, so find a tactful, kind way to let the bad conversationalist know how they can improve.
The good news is that communication skills can be developed and skills are not related to personality at all. How do you deal with bad conversationalists? I would love to know!