Conversational Faults To Avoid

I speak to many people in the course of the week from business meetings to social events. The best conversationalists have great poise and self-assurance and remember that conversation is a two-way street.  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 that the listeners lack intelligence.

Unkindness or unpleasantness are never appropriate. It is never appropriate to speak 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. I believe correcting others falls into the category of conceit as well as long-winded pomposity. Unfortunately, every event has one such person as this.

The self-pitier and the woe-is-me doom-and-gloomer.  I’ve 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. The only proper answer to “How are you?” is “GREAT!”

Words and phrases that add nothing to the conversation. I include “You know” “I mean” “Listen” “Like” and others.

Name dropping….adds nothing to a conversation. I am doubtful people even know those whose names are bandied about freely in regular conversation. No one cares who you might know.

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.”

Best Conversational Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

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