5 Conversation Killers That Hurt Your Relationships

Enhancing the Principle of Putting Others First

As an introvert yet one who enjoys good conversation, I get to observe the dynamics of others interacting with one another. I have made it a study to note the way people communicate one-on-one and in groups. Some people have wonderful conversation skills while others struggle. In certain situations, I struggle. But I have learned over a life-time of experience what enhances good conversation and what kills it.

Do you want to improve your conversation skills and thus your relationships? Then improve the way you communicate when you’re with others. Are you guilty of these conversation killers?

  • You regularly draw attention to yourself. You can do this passively by refusing to participate with others or intrusively by inserting yourself into conversations or situations uninvited.
  • You insistently talk about yourself and your life situations moving the conversation from others to yourself. In conversations, do you predominately talk about yourself? On any subject matter, do you relate it to something that has happened or is happening in your life? A little of this goes a long way!?!
  • You are quick to give your opinion. Opinion is defined as: “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” An opinionated reaction is not as meaningful as a well-thouOpinion-Quotesght-through response. Do you think that a good conversation entails two people “debating” about whose opinion is right? That’s an argument not a conversation.
  • You fail to ask suitable and meaningful questions of others. When you’re only focused on your own little world, you blind yourself to someone else’s world. But, asking good questions of another helps you see more clearly. “Become genuinely interested in other people” is classic Dale Carnegie. “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.”
  • You fail to really listen. Again Carnegie: “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.” My wife, Rhonda, is a great listener. (I have to work at it.) She is able to bring out the best in people simply by listening and interacting with what they say. She builds strong relationships and influences people everywhere. She would say she’s not the smartest or wittiest person. But, because she has learned good listening skills, she puts others first in conversations.

Bible Insights 

Being a good conversationalist is a way to practice some basic Bible principles. Here are a few exhortations that can be put into practice:

  • Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12.10)
  • Encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5.11)
  • Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2.3-4)

It sounds like a good conversationalist possesses a love for people and a humility to place them above ones self.

Be honest with yourself. Are you killing good conversation in one of the ways above?

Share your conversation experiences – good or bad. Can you think of someone you admire for their conversation skills? Why are they good conversationalists?

Dr. K  

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “5 Conversation Killers That Hurt Your Relationships

  1. There’s an elder in our church who is an HR professional. He can talk to anyone, any age, world traveller to homeless person. What I notice about his speech is Grace to all and humility. He is an example of the attributes you list above. Everyone feels special and noticed after chatting with him.

    • Isn’t it encouraging when you have someone in your life who personifies grace and love to others in the way they communicate? I want to be more like them. They are a rare breed, however. Thanks for sharing with us about this man. May his tribe increase! Dr K.

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