Don’t you just hate it when a conversation runs dry and both you and your partner are looking to keep the conversation alive? At that point, as much as you enjoy each other’s company, it does seem that there is nothing more to talk about, which causes both of you to feel slightly awkward to some extent. This is particularly annoying when you’re conversing with a person you hold in high regard, a person who’s friendship and attention means the world to you.
While sometimes we can keep conversations going about virtually nothing for hours on end, there are times when we struggle to come up with good conversational topics to keep things interesting. The next time that happens, here are ten tips to consider in order to keep that particular conversation going for a little longer.
10Make things personal
If possible, don’t be afraid to turn the conversational personal, especially if you’re talking to a person who wouldn’t mind. So if you see an opportunity to link whatever you were talking about to certain aspects of your personal life, be sure to mention it as soon as the situation allows it. At the same time, you can ask your conversational partner if he/she has any personal experiences surrounding the subject being talked about.
9Ask them to wait a minute
This is quite a clever trick when you think about it. If you see the signs that a particular conversation isn’t going anywhere, why not fake a phone call you were supposed to make, or pretend to have forgotten something that needs doing just then. This technique is particularly effective when you’re on the phone, as the other person has no way of knowing what exactly you have been doing for the 30 seconds or so that you were away from the phone.
8Expanding the topics
If your conversational partner seems knowledgeable about the subject you’ve just exhausted, you can always feign ignorance about certain aspects in hopes that they’ll expand on the idea even further. At the same time, make sure to appear genuinely interested in what they have to say, at least until you can come up with a different way to keep the conversation going for a bit longer.
7Point out the fact that you’ve exhausted the topic in a joking manner
If you’re talking to a person who has a good sense of humour, you can always point out how awkward it is not to be able to discuss things further. Furthermore, you can use this moment to joke about how insignificant or generic the subject is, given how easily you have exhausted it. You have to remember, however, not to make it seem that this was the only thing you could have talked about or that this is somehow the end of the conversation.
A good way to keep a conversation going is to be very enthusiastic at all times. If you are curious about a specific aspect of the conversation, why not express your curiosity through an enthusiastic question? Chances are that your conversational partner will pick up on your enthusiasm and expand his/hers answers beyond simple informative answers, thus expanding the conversation further.
Whether you understand what is being said or not, it certainly couldn’t hurt to point out the things you do understand in a clear and rational fashion. This will let the other person know that the conversation is far from over and that it would perhaps be better if they made a few observations of their own. For instance, you can point out the nature of some of the things being talked about and how those things impact your life.
4Use worded questions and answers
When looking to prolong a conversation, stay away from short answers. If the other person asks you a question, do your best to give long and thoughtful answers. Even if you’re not into whatever is being discussed, the fact that you take your time to answer said questions will let the other person know that you are 100% focused on what’s being talked about, prompting them to contribute more to the conversation.
3Avoid yes or no answers
If the other person asks you a question, do your best to avoid simple yes or no answers, or questions that may force the other person to give short answers themselves. Detailed answers are at the heart of every thoughtful conversation, whereas yes or no answers let the other person know that you didn’t really think much about their question. At the same time, try to formulate your questions in a way that makes the other person think long and hard about each particular answer.
2Change the subject to something related to the topic at hand
If you’ve reached an impasse and you don’t see how the conversation could possibly go any further, then why not change the subject to something slightly related to what it is currently being talked about. It doesn’t necessarily has to be the exact same topic but at least something related to it, enough to put the current topic into perspective. Better yet, why not ask your conversational partner about possible theories they might have on the subject and how it relates to similar topics?
1Go back to the last interesting idea you talked about
Perhaps the best thing you can do to keep a conversation going is to go back to the last interesting subject you talked about. If you do this subtly, the other person would have no idea that you’re trying to drag the conversation into a topic you two already talked about earlier. Better still, you can try to make it seem that the subject you talked about is somehow related to what you were discussing just now. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how clever you are when it comes to captivating the other person’s attention.