Social Question

DancingMind's avatar

Are you good at talking?

Asked by DancingMind (5812 points ) December 30th, 2009

I feel like I use to be better at holding conversations. Now I find myself taking the tact of nodding, smiling, and agreeing with whatever whoever I’m talking with says more and more… It’s like I can’t start a coversation on my own, I need someone else to be the instigator. I mean, I love to talk… just seem to have trouble doing it recently : \ I can’t seem to find anything to say—which is crazy, cause there’s so much in the world.

Some people seem to be able to make anything an interesting topic… others, I’ve noticed, seem to have a quiet tongue like I do now. And when two of us get together the crickets start to sing… What are you? Have you always been that way?

And if you have trouble keeping conversation, why? What do you do about it? My tongue itches for use! Does yours?

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32 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

With certain people that are on the same wavelength, I’m great. I don’t get many opportunities when I really get inspired by what others say. However, when that happens I can talk for hours.

AnnieB's avatar

I’m a better writer than speaker….or even a listener…

I say as few words as possible…I don’t really like to talk. I can write all day! And, if someone is talking to me about something that doesn’t interest me….I….think I have A.D.D.

dpworkin's avatar

Being a New York Jew, I probably talk like a bully without meaning to.

faye's avatar

I love to talk. As a nurse I hope I learned how to truly listen, and that’s the kind of people I love to talk with.

philosopher's avatar

I have always spoken well . I enjoyed taking Speech Classes in college. I enjoyed Public speaking at work.

Silhouette's avatar

I’m more of a listener. I don’t have trouble talking, I just don’t do it if I can help it. I have always been a girl of few words.

ubersiren's avatar

I’m a terrible conversationalist. I can never think of the right word, I jumble my sentences, I ramble, my delivery is awful, I often say inappropriate things… I get my ideas out much better in writing. At least I think I do…

filmfann's avatar

In conversation, I am not a puncher, I am a counter-puncher.
That is one reason I like Fluther so much.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@filmfann huh, I Like that. I am a counter-puncher too.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Absolutively!

AstroChuck's avatar

God, yes. I’m always talking. And almost always too much.

smartfart11's avatar

I’ve always been quite shy, and as I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten better. With that, I’ve also become a better talker, but in the matter of actual speech, I tend to not enunciate very well. My mom showed me a voicemail I sent her a couple weeks ago, and I couldn’t understand anything I was saying. Haha. It was funny, but I didn’t know I was that bad!

JLeslie's avatar

@pdworkin I have that problem also.

Although I also suffer from not being able to come up with conversation lately as @DancingMind stated in the question. I am starting to feel like all I am interested in is serius topics and in mixed company it is not polite conversation. I think it is because I have not been working lately. When I worked and hung out with many of my coworkers we could talk about work. Now I am left with solving the worlds problems.

I feel like I need to come up with a bunch of topics so I am ready next time I go to a party. It was easier when I had a lot of friends who were similar to me.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know if I’m good at talking, but I do know I enjoy conversations. I like being challenged by ideas, and building little conversational castles together. Kind of like fluther, only in real time. I tend to enjoy talking with new people or people I haven’t seen in a long time more than people I spend a lot of time with. It’s the newness that interests me, I guess. Someone who knows me on a daily basis is much harder to talk to.

Cocktail parties are a bit weird. I might enjoy them, or I might not. There are a lot of factors that go into this. Sometimes, especially if I’m manic, I have no problem talking to anyone. I usually manage to find someone really interesting to talk to. Other times, I remain stuck with a not very interesting person because they are safe.

Like the other day there was a party for all the kids in my daughter’s class and their parents. The kids were upstairs and the parents down. I hung out with the fathers of my daughters two best friends. Go figure. They’re nice people, and I even knew one of them better than I knew any other parents, and I got to know the parents of the other girl who is closest to my daughter, which was nice, because I keep running into them, and I have no idea what their names are. Can anyone say awk—word?

Much as I enjoy conversation, I’m always worried that I’m going to say something inappropriate. I mean, that’s just the way my mind goes, and if I’m going to enjoy myself I have to say whatever comes to my mind. That’s my rule for fluther, in fact. I do not edit my thoughts. Whatever I think, I say. Well it’s bit different in real life. I can’t just say everything I think.

Or maybe I just worry too much. But I have little confidence—maybe because I have really fucked things up in the past when I let my mouth run without any driver, so to speak. If I’m comfortable with a crowd, I’ll talk a lot. If I don’t know people very well, not so much. I’m not so good with an audience who disagrees with me. I much prefer discussing things with a friendly audience.

I do like conversation very much. For a while, I belonged to a conversational salon. It was kind of like fluther, only with food. The host chose a topic, and we went around the circle to see what people’s experience with that topic was, and then opened up into a more free form conversation. We rarely had disputes, perhaps because of the format.

I don’t particularly enjoy debates. I can do it. I debated in high school. I’ve been selling ideas most of my life. But I don’t like it. The focus is on winning the argument, rather than sharing ideas. Making value judgments, such as whether you are good at talking is anathema. It’s irrelevant, because we aren’t competing. In any case, it’s for other people to say whether or not they enjoy talking with me. Not a whole lot of people do talk to me, so, in the marketplace of ideas, I’d have to say I’m not that popular. Perhaps that means I’m not very good at it, either. Maybe that’s why I prefer non-competitive situations, where I don’t have think about being good or bad.

Blackberry's avatar

@pdworkin That was funny lol.
I have problems making my words fluid, I stutter occasionally and I’m better at typing ideas and opinions. I talk fine with someone on my same level though, intellectually I mean. I meet a lot of people that don’t like to talk about anything I like to so that kills the diction.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have been known to speak well on occasion.

Medlang's avatar

not in the slightest.

Ailia's avatar

I love talking to other people. However my speech is often fraught with mistakes; speaking too fast, jumbling my words, mumbling, etc. Its very frustrating and I often, when I’m at my lowest, wonder why I bother anymore. Although I have a lot to say I feel like there is no point in me saying anything or sparking up a conversation. Especially if I cannot even speak well enough that people understand me. However improving my speech is one of my goals for 2010 so maybe with practice I will improve. :)

Bluefreedom's avatar

If I’m in familiar company and we’re talking about a topic that I’m knowledgeable about, I’m usually very articulate. With strangers, it takes me a while to warm up but after I’m comfortable, I can hold my own pretty decently in a conversation. As far as giving a speech to an audience (such as an extemporaneous one), that is difficult for me although I have had to do it on several different occasions.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I can start a conversation but it is hard to hang around while others keep it going. I can converse on a wide variety of things but when it gets to what the latest Hollywood skank is doing I can go there.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I’m terrible at talking for a couple of reasons.

I’m not knowledgeble about, or interested in enough subjects to hold an intelligent conversation. Forums like Fluther allow members to express themselves in a few sentences, giving “verbally challenged” people (like myself) the illusion that we know what we’re talking about.

I adhor idle chit-chat. The majority of people we encounter daily, really have nothing to say, though they say it will great frequency. I also think people speak much too casually, which often results in needless misunderstandings. I tend to speak quite literally, so that the listener knows exactly what I’m trying to communicate. It takes some effort, though, so it’s usually preferable to grunt or say nothing at all.

LeotCol's avatar

I know what you mean about having difficulty talking to people. I’m brilliant at speaking and coming up with topics of interest ONLY when I’m with 2 other people. I find it very difficult to speak to one person alone. With 2 people for company I will talk endlessly even if I don’t know them that well. Then facing one person, ....* crickets *.... * tumble weed *.....

Only with people I know very well like my girlfriend can I talk to alone.

Symbeline's avatar

Not very. As hard as it may be to believe, I’m a little shy and introverted, however I’ve done much progress in that department in my youth. With that said, people usually, eventually, slowly edge away from me because all I can find to talk about in meetings or parties is Michael Myers or zombies, no matter how short my skirt is, bah.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I enjoy conversations….I’ve always liked talking…and public speaking…but what I have learned lately..is that I don’t want to put an effort into talking to people who just are on the opposite end of the spectrum of thought from me. It’s just too much effort to carry on a conversation that will be antagonistic at best and ridiculous at worst.

So, while I love to converse…at times, I will just nod and smile and not contribute, especially if it is a conversation going nowhere soon.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’m generally very good at carrying on an interesting conversation, but sometimes my mood slows me down.

borderline_blonde's avatar

It takes two to form a good conversation. If I meet the right person, then the conversation flows. Sometimes it has to do with what’s going on in the lives of the participants in the conversation as well – for example, if I’m going through something in my personal life that I don’t feel like discussing with other people, my mind is preoccupied and I’m likely to be more withdrawn from the conversation. You definitely shouldn’t blame yourself for a bad conversation.

Also, maybe you just had one bad conversation and started thinking about it too much. Good conversation happens when both people are relaxed enough to speak freely… I know that if I go into a conversation feeling nervous (like on a first date, for example), then the conversation doesn’t get better until I feel more comfortable around the person.

plethora's avatar

@wundayatta building little conversational castles together

I like that. That’s exactly what I enjoy about conversation and I’ve never heard it put that way.

Scarlett's avatar

I’m actually very good at public speaking – and enjoy it ! But when it comes to individuals, not so much. I like the power and inspiration I can give while talking to larger crowds.

josie's avatar

After shooting straight and a willingness to kill for God and country, it is my great gift.

zensky's avatar

Quite.

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