Rules for Conversation

It's not about entertaining yourself
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2010 12:30 PM CDT

(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 population) "have no conversation skills" and, in fact, "don't even understand the concept of a conversation."

"A conversation, like dancing, has some rules, although I've never seen them stated anywhere," he writes. "The objective of conversation is to entertain or inform the other person while not using up all of the talking time. A big part of how you entertain another person is by listening and giving your attention. Ideally, your own enjoyment from conversation comes from the other person doing his or her job of being interesting. If you are entertaining yourself at the other person's expense, you're doing it wrong." (Read more conversation stories.)

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