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Axemusica's avatar

Is conversation absent in your life?

Asked by Axemusica (9397 points ) October 18th, 2009

“I feel like there’s no need for conversation.” – Shinedown

Last night I was invited over to a friends house to finally meet her friend, that she’s been trying to hook me up with for quite sometime.

Since my friend was taking her sweet time with this planned encounter I took initiative and started talking to her via the interwebs months ago. We chatted briefly every once in a while, but last night I didn’t really have much to say. I feel sometimes I never do.

It’s not only with the opposite sex either. I just don’t know what to talk about. It just feels so redundant. For some reason, when I talk to my bestfriend of 15 years, we could talk for hours, about nothing. With others? Not so much. Is there something wrong with me? Or, due to un-familiarities, do I just not know what topic to strike up?

I’m really attracted to this woman and she seems really cool, but I can’t really get to know her by sitting next to her and admiring her good looks, ya know?

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24 Answers

DrBill's avatar

It is, and I like it that way.

jackm's avatar

This is an issue most people have, myself included. I can easily have a conversation with some people, and feel wordless with others.

I found that it helps to just say what ever comes to mind, no matter how unimportant. Also be funny, make jokes, and pretty much just listen to what she has to say.

If you can’t think of anything, ask her questions and just listen to the responses.

saraaaaaa's avatar

This isn’t related to the question directly, but next time you see this girl maybe get a little drunk? alcohol is after all a social lubricant It may sound like bad advice but it will open you up a bit and will help to form a face to face bonding ground so next time you see each other you will have bonded a little and conversation won’t be so hard.

jackm's avatar

@saraaaaaa
I would have to agree. Alcohol makes conversations much easier.

Axemusica's avatar

@saraaaaaa the plan was to have a few drinks and hang out, but the drinks idea got nixed somewhere after I left and before I arrived.

It’s not like I’m not a boring person, I just get blank mind, so to speak. I often find a way to twist almost any subject in a humorous way. I’m always referred to as a really funny guy, but I think most of that ability plays off of others. Not necessarily making fun of them, but the interaction brings to mind something I can present a comedic effect from.

deni's avatar

NO. if it was absent in my life i would be unhappy. i love talking. it doesn’t matter about what. but thats just me, and i understand conversation and chatting isn’t as important to others, and that works for them. but it never would for me. if i can’t talk to someone then the relationship/friendship with them will probably not last all that long.

i will say that i know what you mean about being able to talk to your best friend about NOTHING but it’s not as easy with other people. i think that we know that our best friends will talk about anything with us. if you went up to this woman, who you don’t really know that well, and started talking about whatever it is thats on your mind, or your parents, or what you ate that day, she might think it was kind of odd, depending on the type of person. you know what i mean? different people view it differently, and we know that so…we don’t dive right into the conversation. or…as you said…we go blank. which is normal. it’ll come. i think? look at me blabbering on and making no sense.

saraaaaaa's avatar

@Axemusica Maybe the fact that your friend who is ‘hooking’ you up has taken so much time to sort this out for you that you now feel some pressure to perform, was the friend there? Try seeing this girl without anyone else around? In a casual situation where it’s just the two of you and no pressure.

Axemusica's avatar

@saraaaaaa I still “performed”, lol. That’s just who I am and yes she was there. It was a kind of “get together”, though it was just the three of us. I made them laugh often and it did lighten the mood, but things didn’t develop, I guess.

I would like to get her alone and talk, but from what I hear she “doesn’t date.” lol, odd, but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t even know how she feels. The “friend” seems to think she is interested, but the most evidence she could come up with was, “she used the bathroom on another floor,” but in my experience, most women are embarrassed about using the bathroom. So, I’m trying not to hung up on the idea that she “is interested” because it sounds like it could go either way.

Parrappa's avatar

I have this exact same problem. _

lostinyoureyes's avatar

I think it’s important appreciate the art of small talk. It can seem redundant and pointless but sometimes it’s the only way to get the ball rolling.

I had a big problem with this for a long time, but I’m slowly getting it. If you’re an educated person with specific interests that also helps for both small talk and deeper conversation.

the100thmonkey's avatar

It’s not a problem.

I’m often at my most comfortable if I don’t feel I have to say anything. If you are perceived as rude by being quiet, then you have a problem.

In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than being trapped in an inane conversation just for the sake of there being noise in the the room.

You never know, she may have appreciated your lack of “effort” – one of the things I’ve noticed with my friends is the fact that we can just mooch about not saying very much at all…

SuperMouse's avatar

First, I don’t think there is anything wrong with you. If you like this girl and are interested in getting to know her better of course you are going to be a bit nervous around her in the beginning. It also sounds like your friend played up the whole idea to both of you which cranks up the pressure even more.

I have found that the best way to keep up a conversation is to ask questions. I usually start with something simple (what do you do, what are you studying – along those lines). People will almost always be willing to share a little something about themselves and as you show interest in what she is saying she is apt to open up even more. Soon enough the conversation will be flowing and you will begin to feel more comfortable with one another. If you hit it off, before you know it you’ll be talking for hours about everything under the sun!

Shuttle128's avatar

Sounds a heckuva lot like me and my girlfriend of 6 years. Obviously its not a terrible ordeal or I wouldn’t still be with her. Sometimes its just not necessary to say anything. It would be nice to have more engaging conversations at times, but some people just don’t click when it comes to conversing. Both her and I like to listen and it gets kinda weird sometimes, but when either of us has something significant to say the other is always readily willing to listen.

augustlan's avatar

Just to reiterate: Ask her questions. Be up on current events. Read great books and see great movies. It may never feel natural to you to start a conversation, and that’s ok. Think of these things as tools and use them anyway. :)

Jeruba's avatar

Just a personal note. Not to disagree with anybody, but I never liked feeling as if I were being interviewed (= grilled) in the name of conversation, and after a bit it would really start to irritate me, as if I were responsible for entertaining the well-meaning asker by being witty and interesting in response to whatever they thought up. It tends to make me clam up. (Yes, really.) And I don’t like doing it to others either. I always feel so phony plying someone with question after question. “What do you…do you ever…what’s your favorite…?” makes me want to say “Let me out of here!” Not that it isn’t a good method for some—oh my goodness yes, it is great for some—but I always want to have an alternative. And here it is, for me:

the leading observation.

Make it a pithy observation if you can, or enticing, intriguing, even brilliant if you can pull it off, but what it has to do is furnish an opening of some kind for a reply, without any pressure; be a conversation starter, not stopper.

What it is not, ever, is that it is not personal about the other person: you’re very tall, you have nice hair, you look like you enjoy the outdoors, you remind me of my sister-in-law (why do I remind people of their sisters-in-law, and what the hell am I supposed to say to that?) or my best friend in first grade. Never, not ever any one of those. Nor is it about yourself: I won a trophy like that once, I’ve read all the works of that author, I hate to read, I love this room, I wish I had a didgeridoo like that one.

Instead, here’s the movie scene to picture, so common it’s a cliche: the character—say a young woman—is standing in the host’s library or living room or conservatory or, hell, their garage, alone, holding a drink, and looking at something—a book, a piece of statuary, an artifact, a collector’s item, a tire iron, a photograph, a stain on the rug, who knows what—and the other character comes up behind her, sees what she’s looking at, and, as if he were reading her mind, says: ”—~—~—~—.” Whatever he fills in the blank with, it catches her attention, and now they are talking. About IT. Not about her or him or what movies she likes or what he does for a living. Takes off a huge amount of social pressure and allows them, as soon as they like, to start getting personal or even to start speaking metaphorically and suggestively about the thing, using language that symbolizes the mystery they’re both there to solve, or the secret one of them knows about the other, or their growing interest in each other, or whatever. That’s how it’s done in the movie dialogue. Without a script, it won’t work quite the same for us, but we can use the model.

If you have a lot of thoughts, ideas, and opinions of your own, or a broad education, or some wide general reading, or some specific strong interests and passions, or even just a head full of a movie you just saw, you can find some sort of connection to something in the environment and make an observation. It won’t put her on the spot. She can ignore it if she wants to. She can open up and tell you all about herself. Or she can just smile and ask you a simple question like “What makes you think so?” and now you are having a conversation. VoilĂ !

gottamakeart's avatar

I find that most people tend to repeat the same stories over and over, the same bad jokes,etc. actual original, engaging conversations in the “real world” are rare from my perspective.(I think it has to do with social awkwardness and trying to appear interesting)

I am glad to have found this site, where the conversation is varied, abundant, and most importantly- stimulating..

JONESGH's avatar

Sometimes people will get frustrated with me if they call me on the phone to talk, and I simply don’t have anything to say and conversation dies. If I don’t have anything to talk about I’m not going to talk to hear myself do so.

LostInParadise's avatar

Conversation is not something I do well and it is not as present in my life as I would like it to be. There are, nevertheless, some things I have learned over the years. @Jeruba makes a good point about not asking incessant questions, but you can start things rolling by asking a question. Then try to find something in the answer to relate to. If you reveal something about yourself then it makes the other person feel more comfortable revealing something about herself. It has to be an exchange.

Jeruba's avatar

True, @LostInParadise. You are right about the exchange. But I find I often elicit more with a statement—or a statement followed by a question—than a straight question. I prefer conversations that dip beneath the surface very quickly because I have almost no patience with small talk. You can use what you know, even if it’s a stretch, to relate to something the other person knows (has expertise in, has read about, has experienced, has thought about), and in the process you can add to your own store of knowledge. I like to make my conversations a learning experience; everyone I meet knows something I don’t know. But I look for it with a gentle lifting of the layers and not with a pick and shovel.

Of course, there are people who really don’t have anything in their heads because they are just thoughtless consumers of entertainment, and small talk is as far as it will ever go. I excuse myself as quickly as decently possible.

LostInParadise's avatar

There seem to be a number of us here who do not care much for small talk, but for better or worse small talk is what is usually used to start a conversation. You just can’t walk up to someone you meet for the first time and start talking about the economy or the possibility of time travel. As much as I like talking in abstract philosophical terms, people, even those with advanced degrees, respond to personal experiences. Once a basic rapport is established, you can drift into more esoteric topics.

cbloom8's avatar

Sometimes, there just isn’t anything to say. Speaking isn’t a necessity for me; I do it when I need, and sometimes I don’t.

doctiresquire's avatar

ask her to go somewhere shes familiar with…like the mall…tell her you need something…then act dumb when you get there and let her show you around ..and thank her for her help…next time take her somewhere your familiar with ..and show her a thing or 2 ..build up a friendship .. always tell her something nice ..but be specific..like those are nice shoes ..or nice jacket ..ask where she got it ..conversations will start rolling off easier and easier be polite and old fashioned ..girls want someone they can introduce to there parents…..their not always looking for the cool guy

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