I think I can improve my conversation skills

The art of conversation. I believe Barbara Walters wrote a book along the lines of this topic many years ago. Perhaps there are many books on this topic, and maybe I should read one.

Being a fairly social person with several opportunities a week to converse with others, I somehow need to improve my conversation skills.

I worry a lot about appropriate topics. Several come to mind: current events, weather, shared social experiences, favorite books and movies. Are there topics to avoid? Religion, politics, personal difficulties, serious health issues?

What are good conversation openers? How are you? What’s going on in your life? What do you think of this (party or event we are sharing)?

Some people seem so skilled at this art of conversation. I have observed that many who seem skilled in conversation are also skilled at listening. They ask questions and patiently wait for the speaker to answer. Frankly, some of them are definitely on the quiet side. I confess to seemingly having developed a bad habit of interrupting others in my enthusiasm about relating my opinion or similar experience.

I really would like to improve. Am I being too hard on myself? Is it only human to feel this need to improve the way to relate to our fellows?

I have a friend who has passed on to her reward. She was a good listener, a bit of a charmer, possessor a good sense of humor. Her name was Margaret, and I miss our conversations. Perhaps the solution is to remember her example and observe those in my life now who are skilled, and just relax and enjoy all the good conversations that come my way.

Jan Robertson lives in Ashland.

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