How to Connect With Someone Deeper Within a Short Time

Making friends and building relationships is not easy for most of us.

Often the problem is moving beyond traditional conversation lines, such as: “Hi, how are you today?” and “Not the best weather, let’s hope it’ll be better for the weekend.”

These lines do at least get you into a conversation with someone, but often their response closes down the interaction immediately: “I’m good thanks” and “The weather should be fine for the weekend.”

If you find yourself getting stuck for words at this point, then you need to learn how to boost your interpersonal skills.

If You Want to Keep a Conversation Going, You Should Make It Like Playing Ping Pong.

If you’ve ever played table tennis, then you’ll be able to quickly grasp the art of self-disclosure.

For example, when playing table tennis (also known as ping pong) with someone, you’ll be engaging in a back-and-forth action with them. This is similar to how conversations are started and sustained.

One party introduces an idea or question – and the other party comments or answers.

Self-disclosure follows the same pattern. For instance, you’ve gone to lunch with a new colleague and beyond talking about the food – you’ve begun to run out of things to say. In this case, you could move into self-disclosure mode and say something like: “You may not believe it, but I’ve been working here for over 10 years. In fact, this is the longest job I’ve ever had.”

By disclosing these couple of interesting facts about yourself, it’s highly likely that your new colleague will choose to share something about themselves too. They may reply by saying: “Wow, 10 years is a long time. My longest job was only for 6 years. However, my wife has been working at the same place for 12 years now. That’s…

Everything You Need to Become a Negotiation Expert (from Major Strategies to Small Tricks)

Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling as though you didn’t represent your wants and needs? If so, you may need to refine your negotiation skills.

In theory, negotiation should be easy. You ask for something, and the other person responds with a “Yes” or “No.” In reality, it’s trickier than that. This is because negotiation is not a single skill. You need to be aware that negotiation occurs in several distinct stages in order to stand the best chance of getting what you want. It is essential that you prepare what you need to say in advance, that you take part in a reasonable discussion concerning the issue, that you clarify the goals of each party, find a “win-win” situation, reach a final agreement, and then decide on a course of action1. Therefore, you a re going to need to draw on your patience, problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills.

Although it is a complex set of skills that takes practice to master, learning how to negotiate will improve your life in many ways. You will be able to set out your arguments in a clear, concise manner without becoming overly emotional. You will be able to work with others to find the best solution for all parties. This applies to both your professional and personal life. In turn, this will decrease your stress levels, reduce feelings of resentment, and enhance your quality of life.

Follow the steps below to become a successful negotiator:

In a distributive situation, there are a finite amount of resources available to all parties, and the aim is to divide them fairly. For example, a seller and…

How to Delete Conversations in the Alexa App

If you want to keep your conversations list in the Alexa app from getting out of control, here’s how to delete certain conversations that you’re no longer participating in.

With the new calling and messaging features brought to Alexa, there’s now a new Conversations screen in the Alexa app that’s very similar to your phone’s own text messaging app. And just like with your stock messaging app, you can delete certain conversations in order to clean it…

What Makes Our Listening Ineffective and How to Improve It


in selective listening may be the easiest way to pick a fight with your significant other. I know I’m guilty of it. I listen to what he says and assume I understand what he means, and not always in a positive way.

This misunderstanding typically stems from the fact that I am not actually listening at all. I am hearing what I want to hear and tuning out everything in between. This causes me to have my own version of the entire conversation, and it usually isn’t very accurate. Many women will joke that their husbands have selective listening, but could it be that we are all a little guilty of it?

What Is Selective Listening and Why It Is Problematic

Selective listening, or selective attention, is the phenomenon that occurs when we only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. It’s a type of mental filtering in which we tune out someone’s opinions or ideas when they don’t line up with ours.1 This isn’t just a bad habit or rude behavior. It’s part of a big problem which results when you are unable to hear what someone has to say because you are refusing to submit yourself to the underlying confrontation. That potential fight is the real reason we often stop hearing what someone has to say; we’ve already decided they’re wrong because we are right.

If You Want to Have Good Listening, You Need to Care First

Good listening ultimately comes down to priorities. If we deem something to be important and worth listening to, there’s a good chance we are going to block out all background noise and focus on that one thing. But if we’re listening to our spouse remind us to get milk, there’s a good chance we’ll be more focused on the celebrity gossip show we’re watching and listening to. In fact, our brains were made to prioritize some audio cues over others!

Whether we are fully aware of it or not, we are always selectively listening. Science has proven that our brains…

6 Conversation Tricks That’ll Get You Out of a Political Discussion

Between election fallout, constant political news, and the occasional public controversy highlighting our country’s ongoing crawl toward social justice, it’s hard to keep quiet. At the same time, just because people are shouting doesn’t mean you should, too. There is a way for you to engage smarter, especially when you know how and when to leave a conversation altogether. Here are six conversation hacks that’ll save you from a political battle. (See also: 4 Financial Reasons to Keep Your Political Views Private)

1. Excuse (or recuse) yourself

There will be times when you are too close to the topic to see crystal clear. Let’s say someone tells you that the Congressperson you voted for has duped you. No one wants to feel like a rube, so naturally, you would want to argue why that is not the case. Stop, and take a deep breath. People say, “a hit dog will holler,” but if you don’t holler at all, you’ve withheld the thing that person wanted: the satisfaction of getting a rise out of you. By ignoring the prompt to engage, there will be an unbearable awkward silence, and someone will change the subject.

What you can say

“Hey, as a [blank], I think you know what I think about [topic]. I’d love if we could talk about something on which we agree and enjoy our time together.”

“If your goal is to convince me that you’re right about [topic], that’s not going to happen today. I’d appreciate if you respected my views.”

“I’m a little too close to this subject to fight fairly on this one, so maybe we can just exchange some articles online and consider each other’s views privately?”

2. Find the source and de-escalate

Figure out why the fight is taking place. Is this a repeat of another previous argument on a hot-button issue? If so, then whoever initiated must not have felt heard the first time. Acknowledge that and work toward a goal together. Is this fight about basic facts that can be proven? Remember that facts matter. If the person you’re speaking with does not have evidence to back up their claims, this argument will go nowhere. Does someone just want to feel more informed than you? That’s an arms race that will only lead to a damaged relationship. Give them the opportunity to share their information and thank them. Understand where the other person is coming from and take a moment to go back to the start and make a common goal.

What you…

Matt Lauer has the scare of a lifetime on ‘Ellen’ while talking Trump

Matt Lauer has the scare of a lifetime on ‘Ellen’ while talking Trump
Ellen DeGeneres pulls a prank on NBC host Matt Lauer that launches him from his seat during Friday’s show. (Image credit via: YouTube screenshot)

Ellen DeGeneres literally scared NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer out of his seat during Friday’s airing of “Ellen.”

Midway through their conversation, the two touched upon President Donald Trump’s interpretation of the media and “fake news.”

“President Trump is waging war against the media,” DeGeneres offered as a talking point. “How do you feel about that?”

Lauer responded and said that he feels the president’s vitriol toward the media is less than authentic and more of a rallying point for his supporters than anything else.

“He doesn’t hate the media,” Lauer said dismissively. “As a matter of fact, he’s one of the people I know who has, over the years, loved the media more than most people. But it’s just this kind of a catchphrase — the fake news and the, you know, fake media — and I…

If You Only Focus on What You Say, You Don’t Really Understand What Communication Is

Communication is the backbone of human civilization. Without it the world would become bizarre. Humans survived for so long because they developed the most important skills that let them overpower other species.1 Since the ancient times to the present times communication played a key role in deciding the fate of humans.

Today also communication is very vital especially looking at the need of communication in corporate culture, workplaces and various industries etc.

An effective communication directly relates to how well you have conveyed or received a message from other person be it via phone, email or social media. Success of every individual directly relates to his/her ability to effectively communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Both verbal and non-verbal communications are an important part of human life because it shapes an individual’s interaction with others in interpersonal relationships, business, finance as well as personal success. Not only this but communication plays a very vital role in an individual’s physical and psychological well-being.

So the first step to enhance positive communication and nurture relationships an individual has to start understanding the various aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication and also the vital role both forms of communication plays in successful interactions with others.2

Verbal communication helps clarification.

Verbal communication is any kind of communication that involves words, signal, spoken or written. Conversation with your friends, colleagues, seniors at college, office or in a meeting, reading newspaper in the morning or watching morning news or texting via mobile are all different kinds of verbal communication. Verbal communications is generally based on a language that varies in different geographic areas.

Verbal communication is required to inform other individuals of our need or to inform or impart knowledge. In verbal communication the most important aspect is clarification. This is because clarification helps in resolving issues where an individual don’t articulate himself clearly or his words…

Learn These Tricks to Strike up a Conversation with Any Strangers

A lot of us have been in this situation:

You plan to go to a party with a friend, but at the last moment they drop out. You decide to go anyway, figuring that, chances are, you’ll know someone there.

But upon going to the party you find a place full of total strangers. If you’re anything like I was, you’d spend in the corner, quietly by yourself until someone spoke to you. That, or go home.

The above has happened to me quite frequently. Whatever fear, or psychological barrier that stopped me from simply speaking to someone seemed an insurmountable obstacle. Yet I wanted nothing more than to speak. Though with me it was good old fashioned social anxiety, but there can be many reasons for having trouble speaking to strangers.

You may even find that some strangers you can speak to with ease, but others, things are much more difficult. But why?

Why can speaking to strangers be so hard?

If you find it harder to speak to some more than others, it’s possible that you consciously or subconsciously consider there to be a greater risk.1 Perhaps this is a person you find attractive, is someone you want to become good friends, or someone who may be able to introduce you to new and interesting people.

While talking to them you might find yourself in a state of analysis, and fear that you may be saying something that will make them go away, or even dislike you. Doing this, and holding a conversation at the same time is near enough impossible. It can be extremely disheartening too, especially if you feel they have social skills on a level above you (to them, its possible you seem fine).

The sense of risk may also be the same cause for not talking if you face a room full of strangers, you want to go up to someone and speak. But in your mind the want to make a great first impression seems incredibly difficult. So you say nothing or nothing comes up.

This is hugely exacerbated if you have social anxiety disorder. Which at times feels like a prison exclusive to you, however, social anxiety is the third most common mental health issue, behind alcoholism and depression.2 So, in a room full of people, its perfectly possible that many people are having, the…

You Can Chat With Albert Einstein’s Facebook Bot Alter-Ego

Albert Einstein is on Facebook, and he’s ready to chat. As a promotion for its new show, Genius, the National Geographic Channel has created an Albert Einstein bot for Facebook Messenger. You can banter back and forth with the theoretical version of the theoretical physicist about life, love, and science—although he’s quick to warn that “I become absent-minded during light conversations that do not involve the physical properties of light.”

Nevertheless, he will tell you all about his long list of lovers and send you plenty of GIFs from the show. The bot is more fun than most—full of puns and pithy…