Cherished readers, The Lady speaks to many people in the course of the week and her hectic social schedule. The best conversationalists have great poise and self-assurance and remember that conversation is a two-way street. Based on my extensive experience speaking with the multitudes (tee-hee) I have compiled a list of faults that one should avoid in seeking to make interesting and pertinent conversation:
Repeating the same story over and over is irritating and implies that one thinks their listeners are not paying attention…or even….lacking intelligence. (Horrors)
Unkindness or unpleasantness are never appropriate. Needless to say, it is never appropriate to speak of ill of those not present.
The conceited person thinks he is most interesting and that everyone wishes to know his opinion on a myriad of topics. The Lady believes correcting others falls into the category of conceit as well as long-winded pomposity.
Self-pity and doom and gloom. The Lady has always said that when someone asks “How are you?” they do not want to hear a litany of problems ranging from having gout, to having financial problems, to the kids performing poorly in school. Private problems should only be discussed with close family or friends.
Words and phrases that add nothing to the conversation. The Lady includes “You know” “I mean” “Listen” “Like” and others.
Name dropping….adds nothing to a conversation. The Lady is doubtful people even know those whose names are bandied about freely in regular conversation.
Evil gossip….it is never well-mannered to spew hurtful rumors or comments (even if true!) The best rule is to only say pleasant things. (None of this “if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me”…unless you are the Dowager Countess of Grantham then you can say whatever you like.)
Best Conversational Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett