The 10 Laws that Conversationalists use to Win People Over
“There is nothing more entertaining then leaving someone speechless. Yet, there is nothing sadder than realizing that person was incapable of retaining half of what you said, and will repeat the story all wrong to someone else.”
― Shannon L. Alder
There was a stage when I had a difficult time managing a conversation and building new relationships with other people. My biggest fear was simply wondering how I could maintain a conversation with someone without boring them half to death.
That fear would then lead me to other concerns such as forever being alone and being considered worthless because I couldn’t hold an interesting conversation past five minutes.
However, one day while I was at the laundry mat, I wanted something to occupy my mind. So I picked up a random book I found sitting in my house (You’d be surprised how many random books I have lying around.)
The book was, “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” At first I was skeptical about it because I read a few books that explained how to make friends and become sociable. (Though those experiences never really helped me.)
During my readings of that book, though there were a variety of facts me and a thousand people heard repeatedly, there were a few key points that stood out to me.
Since my last post, “The 17 laws for Mentally Strong People,” was such a hit, I decided to label the laws on how to win people over as a conversationalist with a few concepts derived from the book along with my own personal experience.
As always, these laws are meant to serve as a reminder on how to handle people, make people like you, and handle people like a boss.
If it helps, print this list out and post it somewhere to occasionally serve you as a reminder. Use it before you go out to a social event and want to enchant people. Use it as a guide before going to a boring dinner party and you intend to be the star of the party.
Always be willing to be the listener in any conversation
Humans are creatures that are eager to speak about themselves more than anything else in the world. They yearn to paint you a picture of their life, their thoughts, and their concerns. They even enjoy their own names more than any other name in the entire world.
Avoid the temptation of acting on your natural impulses and be willing to speak less than the person you’re conversing with during any conversation. Ask questions about their life, what they enjoy, and what their passions are.
By exploring someone’s passions, you’re creating an intimacy with them without them even being aware of it. The most important component of any conversation is the role of the listener.
By being an effective listener, people will fully appreciate and desire your presence. Ignore your natural cravings to glorify yourself so that someone can be interested in you and be willing to listen to what the other person has to say instead.
Be Warm and Soothing towards your Guests
The best type of host is the one who shows a welcome compassion towards their guests. People often hold their defense up against family, friends, and strangers and are quick to avoid those who explicit negative behaviors.
That is why people love dogs in nature. They immediately show a bright welcoming upon meetup and as a response, we become naturally happy to see them.
Despite how much the world frustrates you or what problems are rotating around your mind, make a conscious effort to hide them from most of the world. Focus on being warm and accepting of others by smiling, initiating contact, and speaking friendly.
Life’s already difficult and people don’t want you to share your toxic behaviors with them. Instead, be a source of pleasure and delight, so that when people do see you they’ll instantly rejoice.
Display Your Acceptance of other people
A major fear that overwhelm humans is being rejected by someone simply because of who they are, what they are, what their interests are, or what’s in their past. You must show your acceptance of another person’s life whether you agree with them or not.
Learn to stand out from the rest of the natural judgmental crowds by avoiding signs of irritation, frustration, or disgust whenever you hear something you might disagree with.
The perfect conversationalist is the one who accepts someone’s beliefs and interests without making them feel uncomfortable about it. Perhaps through time and patience, the other person will abide to your ways of thinking.
But upon any meetup or gathering, never make another person feel less significant by neglecting their beliefs and imposing your own upon them.
Remember Someone’s Name as If your life depended on it
People value their names too much for you to simply ignore them. Which is why it’s crucial for you to remember someone’s name whenever they introduce themselves to you. You make someone feel important when you repeat their name because it’s the one word in their vocabulary they enjoy most. It’s fairly easy to speak to someone and immediately forget their name the next minute, but create a system that imprints it into your head. A few effective techniques are:
- Repeating their names in your head 10 times and then use it in a sentence out loud
- Immediately typing it in your phone notepad
- Saying it out loud in a sentence when speaking to them
- Rhyming their name with a weird object
- Match their name to someone you know who already has that name
Always Place Someone under the Sunlight
All great conversationalists are known to have the ability to make someone feel special. If you notice something different about someone (such as a new haircut or wardrobe) ensure you compliment them about it. Humans crave to feel appreciated and unique and by revealing their features in the light, you charm them beyond the average person.
Avoid the Temptations of an Argument
Conversationalists are aware of the difference between an argument and a debate. A debate gives someone the chance to persuade others about their own opinions and way of thought. However, arguments rarely end peacefully because the only intention is to prove you’re right and the other person is wrong.
Though both definitions are very similar, the outcomes are rarely the same. Contentment and anger builds in those you argue with. Even if you won the argument, the other person will distrust and hold a grudge against you. But if you gently won a debate without stirring too much negative emotions into the conversation, you ultimately teach someone a lesson they never knew before.
Don’t be Afraid to Humble Yourself
Not too many people enjoy the idea of admitting they’re wrong. It shows weakness and raises insecurities. And it never helps when you continuously defend your mistakes by using excuses. There will be moments when you are correct, but there will also be moments where you’ll be dead wrong.
Instead of defending your actions, humble yourself by generously admitting to your mistakes. When you apologize, not only apologize for your actions, but explain the outcomes that resulted from it. Lower your image and it’ll give the other person the assumption that you hold great respect for them.
This lowers, if not eliminate, the possibilities of anger or resentment they might hold against you. Master conversationalists know when to pick their battles and when to yield to petty discussions.
If you know you did something wrong or made a mistake, avoid making excuses and confidently take full responsibility. That way, you save more friends and allies rather than build more enemies or “friends” who hold resentment towards you.
Know how to Ask Open-Ended Questions
Master conversationalists know how to keep their guest speaking at great length rather than providing short responses. Examples of short answers are, “Yes,” and “No.” You receive those kind of responses when you ask someone how their day was like or how they’re feeling.
But master conversationalists keep a conversation flowing by asking open-ended questions. Instead of asking someone, “Did you have a good time this weekend,” they dig deeper by asking, “What did you do this weekend?”
Ask someone insightful questions about themselves because not only does it give the assumption that you want to understand them better, it shows you have interest in their wellbeing.
However, never make the mistake by asking questions either too narrowed (Did you have a good time?) or too personal (When was the last time you had sex?) Instead, start towards the middle (How did you find out about this place?) and move towards the direction based on how comfortable the other person is with you. The more open they are, the more personal questions you can ask them.
Set Your Conscious towards Body Language
Master conversationalists take into consideration not only the words that’s flowing throughout the air, but their guest’s body language too. They spot for cues and signals that the person they’re speaking to exhibit. They notice whenever someone they’re speaking to has leaned away, crossed their arms, touched them, and pointed their feet towards another direction.
Humans are creatures that move subconsciously based on how much they’re comfortable with someone. A crossing of arms might indicate that they’re uncomfortable, insecure or defensive towards a conversation topic. Someone pointing their feet at you or repeatedly touching you might signify that they’re comfortable with you and enjoy your presence.
Become conscious of how another person moves during a conversation and take notes of not only what you say, but the environment you’re in, and what’s occurring with the person you’re speaking to. When you spot a sign of discomfort from someone based on a conversation topic, smoothly change the topic. (Examples of Signs of discomfort: Withdrawing from you, little to no eye contact, crossed arms, and body pointed away from you.)
Learn to Paint your Life like a Story
You can bore someone to death by explaining a trip you took to Rome and the pirates you fought along the way depending on the picture you painted for them. Master conversationalists know how to share their life experiences in a way that marks excitement and curiosity to their listeners.
Whether you explain an exciting time you had at school or a weird experience that occurred at work, add emotion and a fun tone to it as if they were in your shoes. Explain to your guests a story of your life as if you were explaining a bedtime story to a child.
Humans never grow out of the mindset of yearning for gossip and exciting stories from the time that they’re children up until their elderly years. People marvel those who can share an emotional tale and are more willing to share their own similar experience after you finish your own.
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