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Sorry, These Phrases in Conversations Do Not Make You Funny, but Boring

Sorry, These Phrases in Conversations Do Not Make You Funny, but Boring

Do you feel like every conversation you have is so boring?

Find yourself drifting off mid-sentence?

Struggle to focus on the person you’re speaking to?

It doesn’t mean that you’re boring, but it could mean that you’re inadvertently using common conversation killers.These are phrases that can bring almost any conversation grinding to a halt.

While you might not realize it, you could be the one making your conversations dull.

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Luckily, that’s easy to fix.

Read on to find out more about what kills a conversation, and how you can put some life back into your communication.

Killer Phrase No. 1: “Oh, really?”

A friend shares some exciting news that they’ve been dying to tell you.

How do you respond?

If it’s with, “Oh, really?” then chances are the conversation won’t go much further.

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Your friend will respond with something like, “Yes, really…” or “I know, I couldn’t believe it either!”

There’s no opportunity for them to give you more detail, and you haven’t given much indication that you’re interested in what they have to say – a big conversation killer.

It’s easy to revert to saying, “Oh, really?” when you’re not sure what to say, but it’s not hard to break the habit with a little extra thought.

What you should say instead

Let’s say your friend has just told you about a scholarship they’ve been awarded. Instead of bringing the conversation to a halt with another, “Oh, really?”, try the following strategies:

  • Ask open-ended questions like, “How did you feel when you found out?”
  • Ask about specific details, like, “What did you have to do to apply?”
  • Talk about a similar experience you’ve had, and compare details, like, “I know when I applied for a scholarship it took a lot of work.”

Killer Phrase No. 2: “Awesome”, “Cool” or “Great”

It’s nice to give the person you’re speaking to positive feedback, but one word replies like ‘awesome” and “cool” don’t add much to the conversation.

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If you really like what they have to say, why not make a bit more effort to express that?

Or if you’re just saying “cool” because you’re not sure what else to say, why not ask some questions instead?

What you should say instead

Being positive is great, but it’s important not to reply to everything with just a single word – that just doesn’t take the conversation anywhere.

Here’s what you should try instead:

  • Specify why you think what they’ve said is cool/awesome/great, saying things like, “I love that you’ve decided to go vegetarian because I’ve always been passionate about animal rights.”
  • Ask for more information, saying something like, “Cool, I’ve never heard of that film – can you tell me more?”

Killer Phrase No. 3: “-yeah, I…”

Are you one of those people who just can’t help but interrupt during conversations?

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You’re sure you know exactly what the other person is about to say, so why not finish their sentence for them, or butt in with your reply?

Interrupting the person you’re speaking to can be extremely off-putting for them, and won’t make them keen to carry on the conversation.

Listening is so important when communicating, so don’t become so preoccupied with what you’re going to say that you ignore the other person.

What you should say instead

If you struggle to stop interrupting others, try practicing active listening. [1]

Listening involves five stages:

  1. Receiving. It’s impossible to properly hear what the other person is saying, so keep quiet and focus carefully on their words.
  2. Understanding. Taking a few moments to understand what’s being said allows you to reply in a more informed way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re uncertain – it’s a great way to show that you’re interested.
  3. Evaluating. At this stage, you’ll be forming an opinion about what’s just been said. Don’t be afraid to disagree, as this can lead to some interesting debates.
  4. Responding. Be sure the other person has finished speaking before you respond, and focus on positive body language, like nodding and making eye contact.
  5. Remembering. Trying to remember what’s been said to you helps show that you’re interested, and lets conversation flow better. Avoiding interruption and distractions lets you retain as much info as possible.

A conversation should never end in boredom.

Follow these tips to keep your conversations interesting, engaging, and enjoyable for you and the person you’re speaking to.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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