Conversations are how we communicate with other people on a daily basis. We talk about our days, our plans, people we know, etc. The difference between a good and a bad conversation is pretty obvious when you think about it.

To me, I know I’ve had a good conversation when I leave it feeling like both the other person and I had enough time to talk about things we both wanted to talk about. A good conversation not only includes effective communication but also active listening. When you are having a conversation with someone and you know they are not listening it can leave you feeling like you just wasted your time. The other person should care about what you have to say and vice versa. Asking questions is another great way to start a good conversation. It lets the other person know that you are interested and invested in what they have to say. Another characteristic that can make or break a conversation is taking the amount of time you have into consideration. If you only have a little bit of time you might want to save the conversation for a later time when you can give the person you are talking to your full attention.

A bad conversation is something that no one wants to experience; it can be awkward or uncomfortable. If there is a lack of things to talk about in a conversation or you and the person you are talking to do not have much in common, then that would be a good time to ask questions to try and revive the conversation. I think that distractions like our cellphones can also make a conversation go downhill. If a person you are talking to constantly checks their cellphone then it means that you do not have their full attention or that they have other things that they are more focused on. This can be worse if you and the other person are in a more intimate setting. We don’t always realize the effect that a bad conversation with someone can have on our day. Personally, when I have a bad conversation with someone I often feel like I did something wrong or that there is tension, so I often leave that conversation in a bad mood.

There are major differences in oral versus written conversations. Often times when we are having a conversation over text, there can be a misinterpretation of the meaning behind a text, which is never a good thing. This can lead to tension and someone might get upset. When we engage in oral conversation, of course, there could be miscommunication, but most of the time we know the tone they are using and we know how to handle it.

So, the next time you are having a conversation remember that it is important to ask questions, give your full attention and be respectful. If you do these things then the conversation will be great!