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How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

As an expert at building rapport with people, I help others create meaningful connection to those that are important to them. Meaningful conversation is a strategy to establish that connection.  So let’s dive into this topic and I will share with you some of the most effective techniques and tips that have proven success.

Big insight:  It’s not really what you say as much as what you feel (and how you make someone feel) in your conversation with them that creates the meaning.

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Here are 8 practical tips to create more meaningful conversation:

1.  Be real:

I always say this to people and am often shocked why they don’t know what I mean.  Just because you are in a certain environment doesn’t always mean you have to communicate in the way the “rules” of that environment dictate.  Every conversation is a connection no matter where you are.  Being real means talking to people with your sleeves up, letting them in and sometimes being a bit more vulnerable (or open to their vulnerability) than you are used to.  This creates an instant connection.

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2.  Always validate:

This is so important when you are communicating with someone and you want to create more meaningful conversation.  Remember, people want to feel heard.  Before you say something, acknowledge everything a person says and receive it.  Not necessarily that you agree with what they said, but that you are taking it in and letting them know it is received, instead of resisted.

3.  Meet people where they are:

You can always steer a conversation later but first appeal to where someone is in the moment.  If you want to create more meaning in your connection, be a bit more flexible in your approach at first.

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4.  Take people on a journey:

Want to know what makes movies, songs and stories meaningful?  It’s the journey.  It’s not always a direct route to where you want to go.  Be open to a process in your conversation.  Take people on a journey with you and be curious about theirs.

5.  Link commonalities:

Every talking point can be an opportunity for you to create meaning by learning that they have similar experiences or sharing with someone a part of you that is like them.  Be careful that you don’t create a tit for tat situation here.   The goal is to establish you are like each other, not to compare your stories with theirs.

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6.  Know your outcome:

That outcome should be to create a connection before any agenda.  Make your life easier by creating strong connections with more meaning so that you don’t have to work so hard to get where you want to go.  Relationships are everything.  Your outcome and your focus are narrowed to this one thing.  It makes everything else easier.

7.  Make people feel special:

You always want to make someone feel like they are different and they are special to you—in some way.  It’s as simple as that.  Share something with them, ask about an experience they are having and praise or comfort them.  This will take you a long way in someone’s heart.

8.  Create transparency in your conversation and be clear:

Always let someone know where you stand.  People respect you more when they know who you are.  When you clarify, people will let their guard down.  When people let their guard down, they are more open to connect to you and then you will both create more meaning in your experience.

Did you relate to this?   Use these techniques in your own life and see what happens.  I would love to hear from you!

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Last Updated on October 17, 2019

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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1. Recognize the Signs

If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

Some telltale signs include:

  • You’re always on your phones.
  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
  • You aren’t together during important events.
  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
  • You’re not happy.

If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

2. Try New Things Together

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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5. Cook Meals Together

Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

6. Have a Regular Date Night

Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
  • Lowers divorce rates
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces marital boredom
  • Bonds couples closer
  • Improves friendship
  • Boosts health
  • Reduces stress

These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

Reference

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