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    13 Simple Ways To Make People Love Talking To You

    There are more subtle skills than just being a good listener.

    There's nothing more underrated than a good communicator β€” and I don't mean in the professional "using words to get my way" sense. I mean, people who are a delight to communicate with because they follow good conversational etiquette.

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    You know those people who just make you feel heard and appreciated because of the small gestures and cues they give? I am in *awe* of the warm, engaged people for whom this seems to be second nature.

    If you want to be a conscientious β€” and tbh likable β€” communicator, here are some little conversational choices that go a long way.

    1. Learn the four little magic words: β€œAnd how about you?”

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    Let me sell you on these words: Imagine you're small-talking with an acquaintance at a party and they ask you what you've been up to. You wind up talking about your job and finish up by asking, "What about you, what do you do?" Then, your conversational partner is like, "Ah, well, actually β€” I recently got laid off..." and whoops, you've accidentally derailed the conversation into a ditch.

    Do you know what could've saved this situation? "And how about you?" It's vague, it's open-ended, it invites a person to tell you about themselves and go in a direction that they're most pumped to talk about. It's much better than accidentally backing someone into a conversation they don't want to have.

    2. If you witness someone being talked over, acknowledge them and then try to give them an opening to finish what they were saying.

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    I know for a fact that angels are real because I've seen them in every person who has ever caught my eye and nodded at me when I've been interrupted or talked over in a group. Making an active effort to listen to someone who is being drowned out is such a kind thing to do and I guarantee whoever is on the receiving end will be so grateful that you saved them from feeling like an invisible idiot.

    3. Resist the urge to be the person who comments on *everything* in group conversations.

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    Hey, even the best of us are guilty of monopolizing a conversation. You might not feel like you are because you're not, like, monologuing, but you could accidentally be talk-blocking other people. When in a group, you kind of just have to make peace with the fact that you're not going to be able to say everything that you want to say without it becoming a conversational ping-pong match between you and everyone else trying to get a word in. When you're That Person, conversations usually wind up looking like this:

    Person A: *says anything*

    Person B: That reminds me...

    Person C: *says anything*

    Person B: I have a witty comment about that!

    Person D: *says anything*

    Person B: Shockingly, I have something to say about this as well!

    That's not to say you're not saying helpful or interesting things β€” just, people will appreciate that you're giving them the opportunity to say helpful and interesting things too.

    4. Feel free to say, "Can I think about that for a second?" before you answer someone.

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    It's completely natural to feel the urge to respond immediately without totally thinking things through. I mean, the phrase "awkward silence" exists to convince us we're not allowed to pause and collect our thoughts. So if you're chatting with someone and they say something, anything, that you want to formulate a thoughtful response to, just ask!

    5. Balance observing, asking questions, and sharing things about yourself.

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    Here's what I mean, as told by the most basic form of conversation ever β€” the weather:

    Observing: Ugh, I can't believe it's still snowing this close to April.

    Asking: What are you looking forward to doing once the spring weather FINALLY rolls around?

    Sharing: I just unloaded my spring wardrobe from storage, trying to channel the LAW OF ATTRACTION and bring on some sun.

    It's just one of those ~good conversationalist~ secrets. Balance is key, because if you're always observing things, you'll probably come off like you're lecturing, and if you're always asking questions, you'll seem nosy AF, but if you're always just talking about yourself, well, you'll just be plain annoying.

    6. Don't pretend to know things that you don't. Just...ask.

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    We've all been there: Someone starts talking about some celebrity or movie or current event or whatever with such conviction that it's obvious they assume you know what they're talking about. And when you absolutely do not, sometimes it's easier to just smile and nod instead of being like, "Wait, what?" because you don't want to look stupid. I get it!

    But when it eventually comes out that you've just been nodding along pretending that you know what they're talking about β€” and it usually does! β€” on top of it being embarrassing, the other person is going to feel like you didn't care enough about what they were saying to bother asking for clarification. Which, not nice.

    7. If you have a tangential comment, redirect the conversation back to what the other person was saying so they don't have to.

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    I don't mind at all when I'm talking about something and it inspires someone to be like, "Oh, that reminds me!" What I hate, though, is having to say, "Anyway, as I was saying..." after they're done with their tangent. Maybe it's irrational, but doing that makes me feel like the other person will think I was just waiting for them to stop talking so I could shift the attention back to me.

    If you're the one who interjects, it is incredibly helpful to also be the one who swings back around like, "Anyway, but back to you! How did the rest of your date go?"

    8. Respond to people in a way that shows you were actually listening.

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    You don't have to be intense about reflecting back everything a person has said β€” just be thoughtful. Instead of filler like wow, really? or ugh, that's the worst!, actually comment on what they're saying. Things like, "Seriously? That's the third time your roommate has done that!" or "That sounds so frustrating, no wonder you're pissed."

    9. Go easy on inside jokes and jargon in mixed company.


    Simply put, it's a dick move to continuously bring up jokes or use vocabulary when there are people around who won't know what the heck you're talking about. Save it for when you're alone with your ~in crowd~ and I guarantee you'll save a lot of people from feeling left out, awkward, or annoyed.

    On the other hand, if you want to tell a story that most people know the background to, take the time to give a little tl;dr to those who don't have it so everyone's caught up and can enjoy your hilarious anecdote.

    10. Avoid multitasking during a conversation, but if you have to, acknowledge that you're doing it.

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    There's nothing more awkward than being in the middle of talking to someone when they suddenly seem engrossed in something on their phone. Do you pause and wait for them? Do you just carry on and assume they're listening? Who knows!!!

    While obviously the whole "give a person your full attention" rule is ideal, I won't lie and pretend that things don't come up or that texting during casual hangouts can be okay. But if you're going to be multitasking, a little comment like, "Ahh, I'm sorry. If you see me glancing at my phone it's because I'm waiting on an important text, but don't worry, I'm listening!" goes a long way in making a person feel respected.

    11. Check if you've already told someone a story before launching into it, because hey, it happens.

    It can feel really rude to have to interrupt someone like, "Heeey, you told me this story last week. And the week before that." So if you're about to start a story, just do everyone a solid and ask first.

    12. If you've been talking to someone for a while β€” like, after the check has been paid at dinner or longer than average at a party β€” give them an out, just in case.

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    Even if it seems like you're both enjoying yourselves and you'd love to keep talking! A quick, "By the way, I don't want to keep you, so let me know if you need to head out by a certain time," could be the opening they were waiting for. People have places to be!

    13. And if someone says, "I should probably get going," don't try to slip in one more story β€” let them go right then.


    We've all been in a situation where you JUST. CAN'T. EXIT a conversation. So if someone is hinting that they've got to jet, even if they're not that urgent about it, take them at face value and ~set them free~.

    Feel free to rant or rave about the little communication things that you loathe or appreciate in the comments. You know, so we can all get some pointers.

    Sarah Burton / BuzzFeed

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