I don’t know if I’m getting old and grumpy, but my patience for looooooong conversations has kind of gone by the wayside.
I don’t know I’m too busy, too impatient, or just don’t care anymore, but those long talks really seem to drain me.
And I don’t think that’s a good thing…
People took to AskReddit to discuss how they manage to carry on long conversations.
Let’s take a look.
1. Get moving.
“Go for a long walk.
Something about the movement, oxygen to the brain and being in nature (if possible) really gets the conversation going.
Walking talks are also great for resolving conflict, probably for the same reasons, but also because walking side by side feels less confrontational than facing one another.”
2. No small talk, please.
“I am only capable of holding long conversations I can’t do smalltalk.
On one hand i am just not interested in smalltalk so i try my best to avoid it on the other hand if it actually happens it gets really weird very fast.
I have a couple of topics that are very interesting to me and i spent alot if time thinking about them so if they come up in a conversation i can eazily talk about them for hours and hours.
I once had a 16 hour long conversation with a friend. I was at his place and we talked for about 9 hours that day until it got late so i went home and slept and after i woke up I imediately went to his place again to finish the conversation talking for another 7 hours.
This happened right after we shared a psychedelic experience. Both of us had alot of mental progress that day I learned alot about my personality and behavior and he ultimately stopped s**king and realized a bunch of other bad habits he worked on quitting.
Of course this is an extreme case but I would honestly love to do that with more people.”
3. Let it all out.
“Just thinking out loud.
Don’t know about you, but my inner dialogue never shuts up.”
4. Don’t force it.
“I don’t force anything. If they don’t want to talk, then it’s alright. There is no such thing as “awkward silence”. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.
And then when I find someone whose hobbies are the same as mine, the conversation is just smooth.”
5. Could be endless.
“If both people WANT to have a conversation then it could be endless.
I rarely have a conversation with my sister that lasts less than an hour. Another important factor is a genuine curiosity about….everything. People love talking about themselves and their interests so if you can find any kind of common ground youve got a good conversation starter.
Also be truthful. If you just blindly and politely agree with everything that people say theyre going to feel that you’re not being genuine and want out. For example:
“So do you play video games”
“No i really dont have the coordination for that. But I’m an avid sudoku puzzler. I taught myself during a very boring lecture in college and now I cant stop.”
You have just opened up several paths for conversation there. Thats the key is to leave the paths open. Sometimes talking can be tiring depending on the person and what else we might be doing. Especially if im talking to a really negative person it really wipes me out.”
“Conversation should be fluid and never just cover one topic.
The universe is infinite and therefore a conversation could go on forever.”
7. Good one.
“Usually starts with asking something about their experience or expertise. They have to deep and interesting conversations that roll through a lot of different topics.
I don’t like small talk but I’ve found most people have something they will talk about for hours, you just need to find the right entry point and a somewhat private space of course.
It usually bounces between funny inside joke type talk and more personal conversations or academic discussion for me.”
8. Do some listening.
“Listening more than talking.
If you’re interested you’ll ask questions and people loved to be heard and feel like they’re interesting so chats can go on for hours by simply prompting your companion.”
9. Practice makes perfect.
“Functional social skills.
I feel this can’t be emphasised enough. Socialising is a skill set, combining active listening, posture, tone, knowing one’s audience and being informed and confident enough to contribute to conversations with asides, jokes, references and memes.
It takes practice. So call your mother and get some practice in.”
10. Keep it interesting.
“I think the trick is to find things you find interesting and talk about that. Try to engage the other by using your imagination.
For example, if you think going to space and space flights is interesting, you could say; “would you want to go to Mars when we can?” But also just general things like “do you like reading? What do you love the most about it?”
But if you get tired, obviously I don’t think you’ll make the greatest conversation partner so maybe it’s more about the quality of the conversation than it is about quantity!”
11. Start out small…
“I go on walks with my best friend nearly every day. We usually just start with smalltalk, like how was your day, etc., then the conversation just casually evolves.
Sometimes we’ll talk about a specific thing that we did that day, like say I’ve been playing Red D**d, I’ll tell him which parts of the story I’ve done today, and he’ll then continue on with video games he’s played lately, then we might jump to him having played something at his dads place and then we get to talk about that or what else he has been doing over there.
Going for walks or being in public is generally a good idea when you’re planning on having a long conversation. You can point out certain people or things and then go from there. Like, wow, that’s a cool garden, I’d definitely put that thing in my garden if I had the chance, or I’d want it to look like this and that and so on. Then the other person gets their chance to share what they’d want their garden to look like.
And yes, personally, I find it sometimes gets exhausting. Then we just sit down somewhere and hang out in silence. Lots of people think that that could be awkward, but it really isn’t when you’re with the right person. It can be great to just hang out and be quiet together, especially after a long conversation.
You can process everything the other person has told you, think about new things you might’ve learned, or just collect your thoughts so you know what else to talk about next. Then just start talking again when you’ve got an idea what you wanna speak about.
We do take breaks from hanging out when we’re too exhausted from it, because that definitely happens sometimes. Then we’ll just stay by ourselves for a day or two and then when we feel like it, we hang out again.
It also really depends on the person you’re talking to. If they’re not very responsive, it’s definitely harder. I just blabber on about anything and everything because I get nervous when it’s a person I don’t know that well and tend to overshare when nervous, and then sometimes they randomly get engaged at a certain topic that they find interesting as well and then we can actually talk.
And if not, if you’re going for a walk, you can still just enjoy the silence and your surroundings together.”
12. Some good points.
“Multi-hours long conversations are a completely different beast entirely and is almost 100% down to chemistry and your bond with the other person, and you either have it or you don’t.
If I had to distill it down though, the ingredients for that are:
- Mutual 100% absolute trust – a conversation only goes on for that long if it just flows almost subconsciously, and it only flows if you trust the other person so much that you’re basically on auto-pilot and aren’t worried at all about what you’re saying, whether that’s because it’s 3am and you’re both wasted and don’t care about judgment, or you’ve known each other for so long you have no secrets, or whatever;
- Cognitive compatibility – This is hard to explain because it doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, or even anything, but that your ways of thinking are compatible enough or understandable enough to the other side that there’s never any friction in getting your ideas across in the sense that you understand each other’s meaning through their words without needing either one to re-word, explain, etc – again, less friction = more flow.
- Shared interests/viewpoints – You need to have the basic same fundamental background knowledge or information to work with, it ties a little into point (2) and it’s not always immediately obvious (you can click with a complete stranger).But for a conversation to last hours and hours long you need to have an almost endless list of subject matter to talk about – you don’t need in-depth knowledge at all, but you need to at least know of the subject so that the conversation can naturally flow from one to the next without any kind of hiccup, and
- Interest in the other person – this is the motivation that drives the conversation onwards, that causes you and them to ask each other questions and their reactions that make it rewarding to answer those questions, and this is almost always the most important part because if you’re interest in the other person and what they’re talking about, that can actually lead to learning enough about the other person and what they’re interested in, that (2) and (3) can become self-sustaining, basically laying the track in front of you as you go along.”
What do you think are some good tips for carrying on long conversations?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
We look forward to it!