I was talking to a girl. I knew her name but that was it.
She said she had never been overseas until last year.
‘Why?’ I asked.
She told me her Dad had health problems in the past. Same with my Dad. Different health issues but the same feeling. When family members have health problems it sucks. But it reminds you how precious health and relationships are.
She’s going overseas again somewhere soon. I can’t remember where.
Little details of conversations are easily forgotten.
What we don’t forget is how they make us feel.
I kept asking questions. Every time she said something I didn’t understand or wanted to know more I’d interrupt. I was curious.
‘How’d you get that internship?’ I asked.
‘I applied for a fake job,’ she said.
‘Wait what? A fake job?’
‘Yeah, they were testing a new job site but it turned out my application was so good, they wanted me to start.’
How could you not be curious? Where did the fake job come from? What happened after she started the fake-real job?
‘You’re good at asking questions,’ she said.
That made me feel good.
I’ve been accepting compliments lately.
Instead of devaluing them with something like, ‘oh thank you but you’re good at telling stories.’
Doing that sucks the life out of compliments.
But she was good at telling stories. I forgot to tell her.
She was in the middle of a story, so I let her talk. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes it’s good to interrupt, other times you have to give people a chance to get to the meat.
If they stop, ask another question. I try to ask the first thing that’s on my mind. Whatever it is.
Asking what’s on your mind is exciting.
If I’m drawing blanks for questions, I wasn’t listening hard enough.
I was listening hard. The conversation was bouncing.
Sometimes you can be listening but still don’t know what to ask, so I just refer to easy options.
‘Why did you do that?’
‘How come you felt like that?’
Why and how questions lead to adventurous conversations.
When the conversation slowed. I waited. She was talking but it led to no where. I could’ve asked something to keep it burning but I wanted to see what was going to come next.
I didn’t say anything.
There was nothingness for a little while.
Then she asked me a question.
I can’t remember it. All I remember is the silence and her breaking it.
Silence isn’t awkward if you embrace it. Let it happen. There doesn’t always have to be noise.
Most of communication is non-verbal anyway.
I talk a lot. Too much sometimes. So I have to remind myself to let silence happen. It gives you a chance to think. It gives the other person a chance to think.
No noise is better than forced noise.
Instead of worrying what to say next, enjoy the other person’s company.
While neither of us said anything, I was watching her. Nothing else. Just looking at her. Then I poked my tongue out. And held up a finger on one hand and scrunched my other hand into a circle. A scoreboard. It was 1–0.
She smiled. She knew what the game was.
For the rest of the conversation we were continually trying to one up each other. Puns, payouts, anything added to your score. A communication cage match. I won 6–1. It helped I was the scorekeeper.
Life is more fun when you don’t take it so seriously.
This morning I watched a kid running in zigzags through the terminal at the airport.
‘Rah la la la la,’ he chanted.
‘What would happen if I started doing that?’ I thought.
Games are fun. Conversations don’t have to be bland. All of my my closest relationships are built on blood and fun.
If you want to improve your conversations immediately, make them fun. It won’t happen all the time. But they’ll be far more memorable.
She tried to claim a point on me by poking her tongue out, it didn’t have the same affect as mine. So I didn’t give her one.
I’m sitting in a library writing this. It’s quiet.
Some people are studying, others are using the wifi to browse Facebook and the rest are playing chess against each other.
Different things but with one thing in common. Communication.
All my greatest memories have communication as a common theme.
The books on the wall are authors attempts at immortalising their thoughts for others.
Students studying are all learning to become more skilled in a chosen field and later communicate it with others.
When I was talking to the girl yesterday, I wanted to let her know I was interested in what she had to say. So I made sure to listen with my eyes AND ears. And ask plenty of questions.
There’s a life-sized chess board outside. I’m going to see who’s winning. Everyone gathers around when it gets close.
If you want to talk better to hot girls (or anyone) better, here’s how.
- Ask lots of questions (why and how) — pretend the other person has a secret you have to find out
- Listen with your eyes and ears, let them talk
- Try balance 1 & 2
- Embrace silence — most of communication is non-verbal
- Do it with style and have fun — stop taking things so seriously
- Compliment often and don’t suck the life out of them when they come your way
*This article originally appeared as an answer by Daniel Bourke on Quora.