Candid Conversations: Vivien Mangalindan
Candid Conversations

How to Keep a Conversation Going

Feb 3, 2023, 11:01 AM
Vivien Mangalindan

Vivien Mangalindan


In the spirit of Valentine’s month, I will give you - my dear readers - an early gift: the answer to the question people often ask me.

How do you keep a conversation going?”

‘You’re such fun to be with. That’s why we always invite you to our happenings. It seems effortless for you to connect with anyone. You easily start and keep a conversation going - even with people you’ve never met before.’

‘Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. How do you do it?’

1. Be genuinely interested. Do NOT make the mistake of trying to impress the other person about how great you are. That is a sure way to turn the other person off. Don’t do it. They might think you’re an obnoxious boor.

2. Pay attention. Do NOT multitask. Meaning, don’t you dare read your cellphone messages while having a conversation. That’s offensive. Always remember what you should have learned in childhood. GMRC: Good Manners and Right Conduct.

3. Listen to understand - not to reply. Focus on what the other person is saying. When you don’t understand, don’t pretend that you do. After all, a conversation is not an IQ contest.

4. Ask open-ended questions. Make sure they are Not answerable by Yes or No. Try these: Who… What... Why... When… Where... How… These simple yet magical words will make people like you.

5. Get to the point. Don’t talk in circles. That is so boring. It is almost a guarantee that the other person will not want to spend time with you.


The bottom line is: don’t be a know-it-all. This is not the time for class recitation. Really, do you expect to receive a medal or trophy for being such a ‘genius’?

Remember: it's Not about you. THAT is how to keep a conversation going.

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