General Question

mea05key's avatar

How to make people happy in conversation?

Asked by mea05key (1812points) July 28th, 2009

I am having trouble mixing around. People seem to be really unforgiving over mistakes that I have done months ago and complains about my work. I think it is due to my individualistic personality. Please advise me how to change this attitude or mine. I am very very lazy to open my mouth and to talk. I hate talking about other people’s work or life (gossiping), I have very specific hobbies, I dont voluntarily speak unless asked to, I hate to contribute any ideas unless asked to or unless something which I am very familliar. Basically I just love to do my own work, get things done, and life my own small life with occasional conversation with people i feel comfortable with.

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25 Answers

Darwin's avatar

You may need to figure out how to look as if you enjoy listening to other people talk about their work and life. Good listeners are often quite accepted.

Russter's avatar

Smile and relax, even when you don’t feel like it. Remember that people are more important than things.

mea05key's avatar

I used to smile and ask a lot of questions to make people to talk and once the conversation heats up i tend to speak more but most of the time it ends when i have nothing interesting to say. I am good at talking trash but it looks really unprofessional and often i get trashed in return and it looks really stupid so i tend to keep my mouth tight unless something creative or useful comes out.

SuperMouse's avatar

Conversation is all about listening. I have found that if you listen to people they will almost certainly open up to you and will most likely like you. When it comes to this your not wanting to talk will probably come in handy. Most people are accustomed to speaking to folks who are hardly listening at all and are in fact formulating their own response as they are being spoken to. You do not have to talk about other people, it is commendable that you don’t like to gossip or talk behind people’s backs – this is a good thing. As @Russter says, just try to relax and go with it. If you are asked your opinion or idea about something don’t be afraid to share it, try to be confident with yourself and know that if you are being asked to participate, it is most likely because you have had something of value to contribute in the past.

irocktheworld's avatar

Make them smile,
Listen to everything they say,
Support them,
Give them compliments,
Ask questions and give good answers and you might start talking to people and make friends,
Be confident for whatever you do and say :-]

Parafly9's avatar

Look people in the eye when talking to them. It sounds like you are interested in what you have to give but not what other people have to say – you should work on that first and then the conversation will flow naturally. It’s a very important skill to develop for many career paths, and ultimately you will find that communication is the key to almost everything – career, life, and relationships.

mea05key's avatar

I am foreigner in the UK and something i often encountered is the sentence ” are you alright” and “how is work”. I really do not know what to comment on that. I am usually not alright and the work sux big time. What am i suppose to say , to be honest? Everything is all fine and telling how great it is working at there. Its totally the opposite and I can’t push myself to say that. Or should i start complainning and throw all the frustration to them. Not something that i think is appropriate.

mea05key's avatar

Parafly9, Yeah, you made a good point there. I don’t really care what other thins to a certain extend nor I am really interested in what they say, Just that I am a quiet person and tends to listen more but it doesnt mean that i like the conversation.Usually in that case, my mind tells me to be sarcastic to get rid of the boredom. But i hate to be sarcastic . It seems to be the ultimate get away that is so commonly used and if used wrongly it often pisses people off.

Darwin's avatar

@mea05key – Those two questions are actually rhetorical. The expected answers are rarely honest and should usually be something like “Great! How are you doing?” or “Good as always. How’s your job going?” Then if they start to complain be a sympathetic listener and they will consider you a great person.

If you need to complain about life or work, find an online forum, a psychologist or a priest of an appropriate religion and have at it.

Parafly9's avatar

@mea05key – I agree in some ways. I have a bad case of ADD and personally sometimes have a helluva time following or listening to people in conversations, and it’s to my detriment. I need to actively think about following the conversation, it doesn’t come naturally for me.

In terms of honesty: it depends who you are talking to! You don’t want to tell your boss you hate your job or your wife that she looks fat! Conversation can often be very dynamic thin line between what you should / shouldn’t say and how to accomplish the goals of the conversation. Remember even supposedly trivial conversations can cement opinions about you in the minds of people which may impact you later.

mea05key's avatar

@ Darwin @ Parafly9

Good points over there. Ive thought about this but it does not come naturally to me to lie or provide false information about my current state. Often ill say “Good good and how are you” and then the guy throws the ball back again and ask me what I did yesterday or something like that. Its such a frustrating conversation to me. I may be good at conversation if someone throws a more specific topic and to discuss. Some questions are too general to talk about for me. Is this unhealthy?

Darwin's avatar

You may need to develop some standard responses, such as “Not much. What about you?” so that you can get the other person to the point where they want to tell you about something they did or thought. You seem to have some personality issues that make it difficult to act socially. You can either see about finding a way to work and live in isolation, or you might consider going to a counselor or a support group who can help you figure out how to be social.

It is only unhealthy if it is making your life difficult.

mea05key's avatar

Thanks for the advice.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Don’t worry about “making people happy” in conversation. You don’t need to put that kind of pressure on yourself. If anything, just remember that in any conversation, people are just trying to make a connection, however brief it is or however shallow it seems to you in that moment.

It comes off as snobbish that you can’t say “Good morning,” or make the small talk that acknowledges someone’s presence, or to not contribute unless someone asks it of you, whether if you actually feel snobbish or not. Figure out why you think you’re above such social niceties and change it.

mea05key's avatar

@ aprilsimnel

I do get that sort of commnets often. But does being quiet actually makes a person looks snobbish? Am i missing something cause it seems to me that conversation should come naturally and should not be pushed. Or is it something obvious that everybody should put all their effort to make every conversation work? I just trying to get an idea on what people thinks.

irocktheworld's avatar

I agree with @aprilsimnel! People try making connections while in a conversation =]
Just get to know the person your talking to and everything will be okay =]

mea05key's avatar

Okay noted. I sometimes think people are just nosy when they poke into other people’s issues. Hahaha okay okay. Overboard now but yeah thanks for all the advice! Appreciate them sincerely.

irocktheworld's avatar

Thanks =] Sometimes,but they probally just wanna get to know you :)
Lol yeah :P Anytime!!! Im happy to help! =]

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

carrying a conversation is a lot more complicated than most people realize. When you’re speaking with someone, aside from listening to what they have to say, pay special attention to their eyebrow movements, as well as what they do with their hands, and how they stand/sit, where they look when they speak.
When you’re sitting down and having a conversation, it’s important to develop a certain level of comfort, to do this it helps to mimic their movements. Make sure it’s not really noticeable though, obviously. a fun little experiment you can play is when ever they cross their legs, you cross your arms. as the conversation progresses and you feel that they are becoming comfortable with you, cross your arms again, chances are, they’ll cross their legs without even thinking about it. It works a lot more than people think to be honest.
It’s simple things like that. becoming a good conversationalist is simply a matter of attention to detail and the ability to recognize body language and what those signs subsequently mean.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@mea05key – Yeah, unfortunately, it does. I am naturally a bit on the introverted side. Fortunately, I had a teacher when I was 11 who noticed that I wasn’t fitting in, and let me know that though I was actually shy and scared (I know that’s not your situation), it looked to other people as though I was blowing them off by not initiating conversations sometimes and barely responding when being spoken to. Small talk is just the ground floor of getting to know people. Promotions and so forth don’t always go to the best technically qualified, either, but the social, the amenable. They’re showing that they can work on a team to get things done, so if only for your career’s sake, at this or any job, learn to do the small talk, and really listen.

When people gossip, BTW, they are revealing a lot about themselves and their values. It’s never about the celebrity or co-worker, so it can pay to listen. And @ABoyNamedBoobs03 is spot on with his insight on body language. It might help to take a class, or even join Toastmasters if this all seems to be a bit overwhelming.

Garebo's avatar

People always want attention and feel special and unique-start there; then, all you need to do is show a great deal of interest and let them blab. People love to talk about themselves.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

pretend like you’re interested in what they are, pretend to like them exactly the same amount that they like themselves, people enjoy reassurance.

SABOTEUR's avatar

That’s easy…you tell them what they want to hear.

But, I don’t think that’s what you want to do. Sounds like you’re really asking for your co-workers to accept you. My suggestion would be to try to ride out whatever difficulties you’re having. You seem comfortable with yourself and your style of working. Don’t change simply to make everyone comfortable.

They’s probably continue to complain, anyway…

Response moderated
plethora's avatar

Well, for starters, the way you are comfortable interacting, which is minimal, would cause others to perceive you as a selfish person. You display no interest in them, from what you say. You can change that easily by displaying interest in other people and you do that simply by asking them questions about their life or their work and then letting them talk. Listen to what they say because it will give you clues as to additional questions to ask. Ask and listen. You don’t even have to comment that much. Just ask and then genuinely listen.

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