conversation

12 Stories

10-Minute In-Person Chat May Reduce Prejudice

'If you ask the right questions ...'

(Newser) - A new study published in the journal Science suggests that a quick, face-to-face conversation can put a dent in LGBT prejudice. Volunteers who went door to door—aka "deep canvassing," per the Atlantic —"substantially reduced transphobia," say the researchers. "We found that a single,... More »

Your Old Texts Can Help You Talk, Listen Better

BuzzFeed writer says they offer lessons in how to improve as a conversationalist

(Newser) - Some might argue that texting spells doom for the art of conversation, but at BuzzFeed , Nathan Pyle explains how his old texts are helping him improve on that front. He went back over some old text conversations with his girlfriend and noticed "great fluctuation." Some days, he had... More »

For the Love of God, Stop Asking 'How Are You?'

Let's do away with pointless greetings, suggests Alexandra Petri

(Newser) - You ask just about everyone you meet "How are you?"—but it's pretty much the worst possible greeting out there, and it's time to stop, writes Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post . First of all, it can trap people in a "terrifying conversational vortex" along... More »

4-Second Silences Make Us Feel ... Awkward

Researchers cite ancient fears of exclusion

(Newser) - Just four seconds of silence in the middle of a conversation can be excruciating, research finds: That pause can leave us feeling left out and awkward, reports Time . “Conversational flow is associated with positive emotions, and a heightened sense of belonging, self-esteem, social validation and consensus,” researchers report... More »

Why Overheard Calls Are So Annoying

Our brains hate hearing 'halfalogues'

(Newser) - Does hearing people blab away on their cell phones make you want to scream? You're not alone—and now scientists know why. Hearing someone talk on his phone is, in fact, more annoying than overhearing a conversation, according to new study published in Psychological Science . Turns out our brains can't... More »

How Not to Be Boring

Esquire's advice on keeping things interesting

(Newser) - Are you a bit of a dullard? Me, too. Thankfully, the folks at Esquire have put together a guide to being cool. Well, cooler. Here are some of their tips for the socially challenged:
  • First of all, just don't be boring: If what you're saying is making your own eyes
... More »

Rules for Conversation

It's not about entertaining yourself

(Newser) - The state of our civil discourse has come to this: Dilbert creator Scott Adams has posted some rules on his blog about how to have a conversation. It's not a diatribe against social media or shrinking attention spans, just a simple observation that most people (he figures three-quarters of the... More »

See You Soon, But Not on Skype

If you're looking at a person, ignoring the conversation is tough

(Newser) - When Joel Stein is on the phone with you, here’s what happens. “As soon as you begin to talk, I feel trapped and desperately scan the room for tasks I can do to justify the enormous waste of time that is your talking. I wash dishes, I file... More »

How to Tell If You're Boring

Watch for these signs during that idle holiday chit chat

(Newser) - Pretty soon, you’ll probably be drowning in polite holiday chit chat with rarely seen acquaintances, and odds are some of those conversations will be really dull. How can you ensure you’re not the one being boring? Slate breaks down some surefire clues:
  • Repeated, perfunctory responses: If they’re
... More »

Shut Up, Dieters: It's Not Working, and You're Boring

(Newser) - Enough about your diet already, Chloe Angyal writes on SpliceToday. It’s boring. “There is something about dieting that renders people unable to talk about anything but their diet, even to complete strangers who actually didn't ask and frankly don't care,” Angyal continues, and she knows what it... More »

Bush, Clinton Plan Public Chat in Toronto

Will discuss past 16 years, current issues

(Newser) - Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will appear in Toronto next month for a two-hour, moderated “conversation,” the Globe and Mail reports. But don’t expect a bloodbath: The former presidents will likely hold a friendly discussion of past events and current issues. Still, the meeting promises to... More »

Big-Mouth Amtrak Rider Announces Firm's Layoffs

(Newser) - A venerable New York law firm is scrambling to do damage control after passengers on an Acela train heard about planned layoffs before the associates targeted for downsizing, Above the Law reports. A Pillsbury Winthrop honcho "was talking so loudly that I think most people in the car were... More »

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