How Good Do You Think You Are In The Art of Conversation?

How Good Do You Think You Are In The Art of Conversation?

the art of conversation
Margaret Paul. Ph.D

Margaret Paul. Ph.D


Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.

Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.

Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.

In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.
Margaret Paul. Ph.D

Discover if you are gifted in the art of conversation

Do you have mostly one-way or two-way conversations? What kind of conversationalist are you?

What happens in your conversations with people? The kind of conversation you have with someone says a lot about both you and them.

There are mainly two kinds of conversations: one-way conversations and two-way conversations.

One-Way Conversations

My client, Henry, complained to me that his girlfriend, Giselle, rarely asks him questions about himself, and when she does, she doesn’t respond to his answer but instead goes into something about her. While he is very attracted to her, he is starting to feel lonely with her and uncared for by her. However, Henry does not take loving care of himself in the relationship. From the beginning, because he was so attracted to Giselle, he ignored the signs that something was amiss in the relationship. He was afraid to speak up for himself and ask her, with a true intent to learn, why she does this. Now that they have been together for four months, this is becoming a big issue with him. But all this time Giselle thought it was okay with Henry that she did this, since he never said anything.

In a session with Nan, she said that a childhood friend of hers came to visit – someone she had not seen for a long time. Her friend, Lila, stayed for a weekend and at the end of the weekend, Nan felt drained and exhausted.

“I’ve done a lot of growth recently. In the past, I was such a people-pleaser that I never noticed that Lila doesn’t give anything at all. Looking back, I realized that I used to talk and talk to entertain her, never realizing what was actually happening between us. This time I saw clearly that, not only was she not really listening, but she never commented on anything I said. She just sat there staring at me. It was extremely disconcerting and draining. I can’t believe I used to feel I had to entertain her. She is like an empty vessel just wanting to be filled, and I used to keep trying to fill her. This time, when I stopped talking, there was just silence between us, which was awkward. She has got to be one of the emptiest people I’ve ever known. She doesn’t talk about herself and she doesn’t respond to me – she just stares!

My client Hannah has a similar situation to Henry with a good friend of hers.

“I love Serena so much. We have been friends for years, and most of the time she is open and attentive when we get together. But sometimes, no matter what I say about me, she finds a way to bring it back to her. Then she goes on and on in a monologue, not even noticing whether or not I’m listening. And she doesn’t seem to be conscious about what she is doing.”

The thing that all three of my clients have in common is that it’s hard for them to speak up about what is happening. Henry needs to ask, with sincere curiosity, “Giselle, how come you rarely ask me about me, and even when you do, you don’t listen to my answer – instead going on and on about you”? Nan needed to say to Lila, “Lila, I’m really curious about why you just stare at me instead of engaging in conversation with me?” Hannah needs to say to Serena, “Sometimes we have great two-way conversations, but today it seems all about you. What’s going on?”

Tamara writes: “When my mother-in-law is over for a family get-together like Easter dinner or such and there are lots of people around, she will ask someone, ‘So how are you?’ Before they have a chance to say what’s going on in their lives, she will cut them off and start talking about herself – before they get three words out.” This is one of the signs of narcissism and narcissists are unlikely to ever be able to practise the art of conversation.

Two-Way Conversations

These tend to be very satisfying conversations, where each person listens well, responds with caring, and asks questions to deepen the interaction. When both people are open and caring, there tends to be a natural balance regarding how much each person speaks. I love the intimacy of two-way conversations. When I’ve been talking awhile, I switch into asking caring questions of the other person, and the other person does the same. As we go back and forth, the conversations deepens.

If you want two-way conversations, then you need to either speak up for yourself or not spend time with people who either don’t respond to you or go on and on about themselves.

You might want to notice what kind of conversationalist you are, and what happens with others in your conversations.

Alanis Morrissette
Alanis Morissette

Inner bonding really nurtures and fosters the relationship between self and spirit. Personally, it has helped every relationship that I have. I’m so grateful.- Alanis Morissette

Find out how Inner Bonding has helped singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love>>  

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