On a date, watch out for the run-on story. We have all sat through many foreeevvveerrr stories looking for the wrap-up sentence. Maybe now….now…and now…but sadly…the story drags on and you are looking at the closest emergency exit.
Your story could be the best story ever told but you must watch your timing and your partner’s engagement. In the excitement of your storytelling, you share everything but sadly you lost your listener 5 sentences in. My fixer upper: if you what someone to listen to you, activate them in the conversation and STOP rambling. Talk. Listen. Respond. This conversational advice asks you to monitor your engagement level with your partner.
For example, I was reading to students the other day and as I looked up I realized my words were pinging like hailstones off their brain. NOTHING! I immediately started asking questions and talking to them, not at them Magic. My audience was back. I listened, they responded and we continued with a new level of interest.
I have seen this on dates where someone loses their partner in jib jab nonsense. Like anything, there must be a balance. Especially on a date, you must check in with the conversational exchange between you and your partner. Are you talking all the time? Do you ask questions? Is your partner contributing? Is this topic interesting to your partner? These questions can help you adjust the conversational flow.
If you partner isn’t a talker, try to encourage them to share something. Use topics that they can relate to, ask questions or give empty space for them to share. In your spare time, do some research on their interests so you have some background knowledge on the topic they enjoy speaking about. People will talk when they feel comfortable. Promise. Also, blank space isn’t always a bad thing. You don’t always have to speak while in front of someone. I believe it is worth holding ‘blank space’ to think and process a conversation before continuing a discussion.
Also, a date shouldn’t be a therapy session. There are professionals to handle your issues. Please refrain from lamenting your woes! A date is a place to share, discover and engage. There are some dates that welcome deep, uncomfortable discussions but really most dates are designed to be fun and enjoyable! Hey, we are human so deep points may surface. It is only natural to want to talk about money, kids, parents or the election but know the hot topics. If you hit one, try to keep the conversation short and move to a brighter, more cheery conversation. If it is the first date, hold your tongue and keep it light. Nobody wants to hear your run-on stories about whatever. Keep it short and sweet. Everyone should bring quality topics, funny stories and a desire to communicate on a date.
I don’t know you or your partner but I do know everyone communicates and today there are so many ways to transfer ideas, thoughts, and information from one person to another. I am not sure the best way, but I do know verbal communication is the most honest and most uncomfortable but with practice you can improve your style and enhance your relationships. I have found when you truly tune into a conversation you will connect, freely speak and be part of the dialogue.
To wrap up this post, personal communication skills play a major role in any relationship. We hate to admit it, but it’s kinda true. As a society, we need work on this so going forward place some attention on engaging in deeper and more meaningful conversation by trying my techniques . Three things: Talk. Listen. Respond.