Useful Tips

How to maintain a conversation on any topic and in any company?


Our experienced team of editors and researchers contributed to this article and tested it for accuracy and completeness.

The number of sources used in this article is 8. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

The wikiHow content management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards.

Text messaging is a convenient way to meet a new person or chat with old friends. If you find it difficult to maintain such a conversation, then use a number of tricks that will help you to have fun and relaxed communication. Ask open-ended questions and discuss interesting topics. Write meaningful messages and be a pleasant conversationalist so as not to be bored and exchange thoughts regularly.

Ask open-ended questions.

To support the conversation, avoid questions that can be answered unambiguously with “yes” or “no”, as this will immediately lead the conversation to a standstill and create difficulties for further communication. For example, instead of asking if you liked the film, it’s better to ask what the other person thinks about the plot. A detailed answer can be obtained by expressing one’s own opinion. Another person will want to express his point of view, as a result of which a dialogue will be created.

Ask questions based on the answers of the interlocutor

How to maintain a conversation with people if he is at an impasse? A good technique is to use the information coming from the person you are talking to. Having listened carefully to him, you can always cling to something and find a topic for continuing communication. If the question does not come to mind, it is enough to invite a person to talk about something in more detail.The main thing is not to interrupt the interlocutor and give him the opportunity to express himself, to finish his thought, otherwise he might think that his reasoning is not interesting, and stop expounding it.

The setting is the best topic for conversation.

How to maintain a conversation if it does not add up from the very beginning? The best topic to discuss is the environment. For example, if you are participating in a general event, talk about it. During dinner in the restaurant you can discuss the atmosphere and interior of the establishment. At the party, a suitable topic would be music, food, scenery.

Be positive

One simple thing to remember is that people like to communicate with optimists. Therefore, you do not need to constantly complain about your failures, this will only push away the interlocutor. Perhaps he wants to relax and forget about his own hardships, and not bother with other people's sorrows.
It is better to recall the positive aspects, you can even tell some funny story. As you know, humor brings people together and allows them to find a common language.

Conversation with a girl

Young people often have difficulty communicating with the opposite sex, especially when they first met. How to maintain a conversation with a girl so as not to push her away from herself? In this case, there is nothing complicated. You can talk about everything that is interesting to both. Do not forget to tell fascinating stories, add a touch of humor to your communication - girls appreciate it. However, give her an opportunity to speak out, otherwise the interlocutor will simply get bored from monotony. If this is the first date, it is advisable to choose neutral topics for conversation. It can be music, movies, sports, weather and more. When talking, watch your own facial expressions and gestures. No need to energetically wave your arms and raise your voice in a fit of emotion, use the words parasites and slang.

Communication with a man

When talking to a man, a woman should remember that the stronger sex loves when they are listening. True, it is not always possible to understand reasoning about cars or computers. How to maintain a conversation with a man in this case? You can always direct the conversation in the right direction, clinging to something familiar and finding a topic that is interesting to both.

The main thing is not to interrupt the man at the moment when he enthusiastically tells, not to criticize him. Not a good topic would be a discussion of acquaintances. It is better to leave it for friends. Talking about diets is also advisable not to touch.

Think about what is expected of you

The interlocutors are very different. One is quite happy with loose ears and a rare nod of the head. But the other will require you to have a meaningful response and emotional reaction. Therefore, first of all, you need to understand what type of interlocutor you are dealing with.

Defining this is easy. It is enough to observe the facial expressions and body language of a person, to follow his speech. In Marina Butovskaya’s book “Body Language: Nature and Culture” you can find a lot of useful information about non-verbal communication.

For example, dilated pupils and wide-open eyes can say about increased interest and excitement. Slightly raised eyebrows are also a sign of concentration and curiosity. Long-term eye contact will show that it is important for a person to be listened carefully.

Active gestures in Russian and American cultures will tell about energy and the desire to convey your point of view. And if you notice that a person is trying to move closer to you during the dialogue, then this indicates a desire to be heard.

It is also worth watching how a person says: pay attention to the timbre and intonation.

So, the famous speaker Dale Carnegie in his book “How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Speaking Publicly” wrote that the speech of a person who wants to interest you will be figurative and easy to understand. It can also be quick if a person is excited and very passionate about the topic. A high voice or its increase will also indicate the enthusiasm of the interlocutor.

If you have identified at least some of these signs of interest, then with a high degree of probability you will be required to answer and participate.

Sincerely try to understand the interlocutor

If the subject of the conversation is completely unclear for you or is not completely understood, it will be very difficult to communicate with a person. At the same time, it is doubly difficult to give out the emotional reaction that is expected of you. But if you do not show it, then you may seem cold and indifferent.

To make it easier to understand a person, you can try to draw an analogy for yourself. It is enough to recall something similar from what excites and interests you. This will help you get inspired with the topic and be on the same wavelength with your interlocutor.

For example, your interlocutor says that the car he recently bought disappointed him. And you do not have rights, and in cars you do not understand anything. But the speaker expects you to participate.

Remember: you must have experienced something similar too.

Perhaps you have been let down by expensive equipment more than once. Refreshing these events and the feelings you have experienced, you can better understand a person and his problem.

This is easy to do for those in whom empathy is strong - the ability to feel the interlocutor and empathize with him. If you are not a skilled empath, then just try to put yourself in the place of the speaker and focus on his emotions. Try not to give estimates, give up judgments. Just listen carefully and give your interlocutor absolute attention.

Admit that you didn’t understand anything, and ask them to recommend something on the topic

Honesty is the best policy, and it’s worth starting. Something to not know is not a shame. But to demonstrate enthusiasm and desire to learn will not be superfluous. So you show the interlocutor that you are interested.

Since the person most likely studied the subject of conversation along and across, it will not be difficult for him to advise you to read or look at something. So get ready to write down or ask to send you a list of sources by mail or on social networks. You can also ask what is special about them. Surely your interlocutor will be happy to share what he knows.

Refine and ask questions

By asking questions and wanting to know the opinion of the interlocutor, you can please him. According to studies by The Neuroscience of Everybody’s Favorite Topic, in most cases the speaker will prefer talking about himself to any other topic. At the same time, if you give him the opportunity to speak out and do not interrupt, you will begin to look more attractive in his eyes.

A similar approach will also help you gather the information you need to continue the dialogue.

If the interlocutor will demand an answer from you, there is a universal solution. Say that you thought of something similar, but don’t know how to relate to it. Or until they formed a full-fledged opinion on this issue. Move the arrows to the other person. Ask what he or she thinks about it.

Do not interrupt

If you interrupt the interlocutor’s speech, you lose the opportunity to understand the topic and learn more. In doing so, you can upset or even anger him or her. As the psychologist Joel Minden from the University of California at Chico explains How to Be Heard When Talking to a Chronic Interrupter, when a person interrupts, he unknowingly demonstrates his superiority. The interlocutor may perceive this negatively and consider that you want him to shut up. Or that your opinion is more important. This clearly does not attract you to the second participant in the conversation.

Ask for other opinions on this subject.

One of the win-win options. As a rule, if a person tells something important, then he already has his own opinion on this topic. And for this, he learned a lot or gained a certain experience. If you are interested in other aspects of the issue, you will get a long monologue. First, you will be told about other points of view, and then - why they are incorrect or far from the truth.

For example:

“Don't you think this book is boring?”

- I admit. But this is your opinion. And what do they write about her on the Internet? What do critics say? Surely someone praises her.

Or this option:

“Do you think he's good?” I have not decided yet. And what are the reviews about him? Did someone you know buy it?

While you listen to the answer, you can expand your knowledge and fully understand the topic.

Unobtrusively change the subject

As soon as your interlocutor speaks out and sets out everything, you can translate the topic into something close to both of you. Do not change it dramatically and abruptly - just transfer it to another channel. Suppose you are talking about buying a laptop and the pros and cons of certain models. But at the same time, you absolutely do not understand the technique. Say you want to buy something else when the topic runs out. And relaxedly continue the dialogue.

In fact, it is important to remember that not knowing something is normal and not at all embarrassing. Man learns all his life. And if you have not read or studied something, this does not mean that you are not ready to discover something new.

Company conversation

A person who knows how to maintain a conversation in the company, so as not to get a negative attitude, will not engage in meaningless disputes and criticize others. He will remember that every speaker tries to find his listeners. That is why, communicating in the company, he will try to give out his own silence for his interest in the story. If several people are having a conversation, it is easier to imagine yourself as an interesting conversationalist - sometimes it’s enough to ask questions when there is a pause.

What is not worth doing?

How to maintain a conversation and not cause a negative of others? There are several warnings that you do not need to do during a conversation:

  • to exalt oneself, to try to show better than it really is - such behavior repels others and creates obstacles for further communication,
  • to be tactless - if the topic is not pleasant to the interlocutor, it is better not to touch it, otherwise they will want to finish the conversation with you as soon as possible,
  • use rude, vulgar language with slang and profanity - this will be disapproved of in many circles,
  • Pry out personal secrets and lay out their ins and outs,
  • to interrupt the interlocutor, to cut him off at a glance - this is a bad taste, which can cause the completion of communication.

Sarcasm and scientific sayings in French will also not be appreciated. It makes no sense to try to seem smarter. For a pleasant conversation you need to win over a person.

Of course, you can talk with your best friend about anything, but you also need to be able to engage in dialogue with strangers. Moreover, there are plenty of topics for communication, you just have to choose the most suitable one. To be able to not only express one’s point of view, but also to listen to another person is a prerequisite for a pleasant and lengthy conversation. If you adhere to these rules, the question of how to maintain a conversation will not arise.