How to Kill a Conversation | Seven Easy Ways

How to Kill a Conversation | Seven Easy Ways

How to kill a conversation | Seven easy ways:

Regardless of our intention, sometimes discussions flop either in midsentence or even at the onset.  Why is this?  Well, there are many answers.  Join me, will you, as we discover and discuss how to kill a conversation in seven easy ways.

Do you ever hear people often say; “I’m shy; I don’t know how to have conversations,” or “Nobody talks to me?”

I do, often, and guess what?  I call bullshit.  Anyone can learn the basics of practical communication and have better dialogue if they desire to do so.  There are so many techniques and tutorials on the free market.  Just Google search “how to have better conversations” and there are over a billion commentaries to reference.

Don’t be this guy

For this analysis, though, we are going to approach the art of conversation differently.  As you read through this article, you will quickly identify these common killers of conversation and hopefully avoid doing them!  Your confidence will grow with and as you continue to converse with others, your engagement will become more dynamic and appealing.

Honestly, it is very frustrating talking to somebody who won’t engage.  What’s even worse than the quiet type are the people who often use one or more of these common ways to halt the talk.  People want to dialogue and connect with others.  So let’s identify seven easy ways to kill a conversation, so we can bring awareness, and create a more meaningful connection.

Lack of Eye Contact

Nothing says, “I am not interested” louder than someone who will not make eye contact with me.  While meeting each other eye to eye can sometimes be difficult, eye contact is essential to connection.

Imagine, you are standing in a room face to face with another person talking about something.  Meanwhile, the other person is scanning the room for something to catch their eye.  To me, that speaks, “I am preoccupied with something else and I am not nearly as interested in what you are saying.”  Killer, right?

Fidgeting, scanning the room, and fixating on someone’s wardrobe are all ways to circumvent eye contact.  For instance, I approach you to tell you about my new job promotion.  I am excited and as I begin to share, you reach up and fix my necklace.  This small gesture or interruption can negate our entire conversation thus leaving me to feel less important than my necklace hook.    Avoiding distractions such as these are key to maintaining better eye contact.

True, it can be very uncomfortable staring eye to eye with somebody, and you will, at some time, need to break the gaze.  Knowing when to glance away can be tricky.  As a general rule, make eye contact while the other person is talking to you.  Look away briefly as you speak, and then reconnect with your eyes.

Your Mobile Device

Today, it seems as though more people glue themselves to their screens.   I find it frustrating to chat with someone while they are continually looking at their phone.   Would you agree?  Our mobile devices are quickly becoming our go-to friend and the topic of conversation.

Admittedly, when situations become uncomfortable or awkward, I reach for the comfort of social media.  Unfortunately, our gadgets are a disruptive force in our communication.

What I am talking about are irritating ring tones, buzzers, and sounds.  I know sometimes they help you identify your caller as to whether you are going to take a call or disregard it.  However, when engaged in a chat between two or more people, it begins to sound like a child asking for a new toy.  These interruptions quickly become annoying and frustrating.  For me, it tells me that whatever we are talking about is less significant than the incoming call.

Sometimes an incoming call or message is urgent, and you must attend to it.  Perhaps, though, avoiding this common conversation killer is as easy as stating right up front that you are waiting on a call from somebody, and you might have to cut this conversation short.  Maybe you could even say something like; I have an urgent message that could come through any minute.  So thank you for allowing me to monitor my texts and calls while we are speaking.

Talking Shop

Effective communication is a two-way street.  Unless you are teaching someone something specific, it is better to leave the “shop” terms out of the conversation.  People are not impressed with your in-depth knowledge of widget making unless, of course, you are directly talking about widgets.

To keep the flow going, try sticking to the broader aspects of the subject.  Being extremely detailed in the topic can lead your friends to Bordomsville, especially when they have no idea what all your acronyms mean.


Interrupting, by far, is the quickest way to kill a conversation.  Although there may be times that it is necessary to interject, err on the side of caution.  Intentionally disrupting the flow of the dialogue is very frustrating to everyone.  The interruption can come across as impolite or even rude.

Allow the other person to finish their statements, and perhaps as they do, they will answer your question before you have to ask.  Hang in there, and you will have ample time to respond.

Dropping the Volley

Have you ever played volleyball?  Team 1 serves the ball, Team 2 volleys the ball back across the net, Team 1 sets it up and hits it back over the net.  They continue this play until one of the teams misses the shot.

At times, my conversations sometimes sound like interrogations, especially if the other person doesn’t understand the fundamentals of basic communication.  I serve the question or statement; the other person responds without sending something back to me.

For instance:

Me: Hey SusieQ, How’s the new job?

SusieQ: It’s fine

Me: So, what’s your day like now that you are back to work?

Susie: Get up, go to work, come home, sleep.

Me: (Kill me now)


Me: Hey SusieQ, How’s the new job?

SusieQ: It’s pretty good.  There is a lot of new information and I am a little overwhelmed.  I have been out of the workforce for 15 years, so I hope I can catch up.  Have you ever thought about going back to work?

Me: Sure, actually a lot.  And I am sure I would feel the same way.  It can be scary and intimidating for sure.  Tell me about your coworkers?

A continuous chatter back and forth is how a conversation should work.  Learn to volley.   Person 1 makes a leading statement or question.  Person 2 responds with another prominent comment or perhaps a matter of their own.  Volley back and forth.  They ask, and you answer, you ask, and they respond.  See how nice that sounds?

Shuffled out

Have you found yourself in a pleasant conversation with someone and one of their friends or colleagues approaches?  Was it a cohesive conversation that incorporated the new person or did someone get “shuffled out??    Hopefully, these scenarios will better explain the term.

Scene 1:

Liza and SusieQ are talking.  You walk up to the in-progress chat because you want to say hi to your friend, SusieQ   Now, as you stand there patiently waiting for Liza to STFU, she doesn’t.  She doesn’t even pause for a breath.  Liza just rambles on without acknowledging you.  Do you feel uncomfortable and want to excuse yourself even though you haven’t even been recognized.  Congratulations!  You are “shuffled out.”

Scene 2:

SusieQ and I are talking.  Liza walks up, smiles, and WAITS for us to finish our sentence quickly.  I hesitate, allowing SusieQ to introduce Liza to me.  I now have the opportunity to bring Liza into the conversation by presenting some backstory OR starting a new line of dialogue that would include ALL 3 of you.

What more likely happens is Liza interrupts the flow, SusieQ does not make an introduction, and then Liza and  SusieQ enter into some dialogue that is unfamiliar (Shoptalk) to me.  Hence, I am “shuffled out.”

It is polite to recognize others as they approach your group.  Making people feel welcomed and at ease is all part of being a good conversationalist.  If you can’t remember or don’t know if people know each other don’t be afraid to ask, “Hey, have you two been introduced.”  Don’t just assume everyone knows each other especially if you are the host.   Most of all, be inviting and inclusive with the conversation when others approach your group.

 Being a One Upper

Have you ever had a chat with someone that has to one-up you every time?  It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is or what the scenario is; that person has a more extreme account of their experience.

Wait! What?  You are that person, and you didn’t’ even realize it?  Maybe it is just time to let other people have their glory day.  It’s ok.  You can support your high achieving friends without feeling like you have compete with them.  Let them brag, congratulate them even.

Now that you are aware of how to kill a conversation seven easy ways, begin to notice your dialogue.  Allow yourself to be more attentive, inclusive, and engaging in your conversations. Practice your new techniques and give these tips a try.  Be sure to let us know how they helped.

Until next time…Be Mindful, Inspire conversation, and Encourage each other!  Be sure to visit us on Facebook!

Keep talking








Four Tips To Get The Conversation Started Using The FORD Method

Four Tips To Get The Conversation Started Using The FORD Method

Four Tips To Get The Conversation Started Using The FORD Method

Would you like to make a connection through conversation and don’t have a clue where to start?  Well, you are in the right place with these four tips to get the conversation started using the FORD method.

Dialogue doesn’t have to be hocus pocus, and you certainly don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to engage in some meaningful dialogue.  You can facilitate practical fun, meaningful conversation by asking a few simple questions to those around you.

Oh my pounding heart and sweaty palms

How do you feel about talking to people?  Is it easy for you to strike up a conversation?  Would you like to develop your skills and be more fluid in your communication?  Do you cringe at the thought of “making conversation.”  Maybe you are at a loss for words when you first meet someone.  Possibly, you just want to make a connection and don’t know where to start.

Do you ever feel your heart pounding, your palms sweating, and you just wish someone would talk to you.  Perhaps you find yourself trying to think of things other than the weather or COVID-19 to discuss. How about that deafening awkward silence, does it bother you?

Well, guess what?   You are like many of us out here.  That’s right; you are not alone.  Connection is one of our greatest needs as humans.  We want it, we need it, and now, we are going to help you get it!

Open-Ended? What’s that?

Let’s start with the basics or, as I like to say, ask a better question.  The proper term is open-ended questions or leading questions.  Simply put, these are questions that allow an opportunity for additional dialogue rather than a yes or a no answer.  These questions can be tricky, and you may need to practice.  Though, once you start using them, your dialogue will open up tremendously.

Do you ever get stuck for open-ended questions?.    Well, if you do, then read on because we have some fun leading questions for many situations.

Now, I love to talk to people or interrogate, as my partner Robb would say.  Developing effective question asking can be tricky.  So, I was pretty excited when I ran across this little nugget of information. 

I love acronyms

My research led me to this fantastic acronym F.O.R.D.   Simply stated, The F. O.R. D. method stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.  These hints and reminders help us to find more interesting and not so obvious information through open-ended questions. 

I put together some of my go-to questions that may be helpful the next time you find yourself stuck.  If nothing else, remember the acronym, and you will find a lead into a conversation.  Be encouraged to use these as a jumping-off point and allow the dialogue to develop naturally.  There is no reason for rapid-fire unless, of course, it is an interrogation.  Allow the conversation to be natural and flowing.

These are Four Tips to get the conversation started using the FORD method


It is not always apparent as to whether or not someone wants to talk about their family.  Asking them a direct question such as “ Tell me about your family” can sometimes trigger some unhappy emotions.  Personally speaking, I like to wait until I am clear on a persons’ familial relationships before I close in on what could be a sensitive territory. 

Try these instead and be discerning.  Knowing what to ask and when to ask can be a little tricky.  Navigate your conversation slowly until you find your flow.

  • Where’s home for you?
  • What are some of your family traditions?
  • What was it like growing up in your neighborhood?


Occupation is a subject that needs a little more attention and follow-up.  Sometimes the question may seem to be open, when in fact, the person on the other end clams-up on us.  Be prepared to follow up with another similar question:

  • What kind of work do you do?
  • How did you come into that line of work or occupation?
  • Tell me about your typical day in the “office.”

R- Recreation

Everyone likes to talk about their “fun” life, hobbies, weekend ventures, and the places they’ve traveled.  So ask them!  Personally speaking, this is one of the most comfortable places to start.  You will even find that small children respond to these questions.

  • Tell me what you did over the weekend.
  • When things get chaotic, how do you clear your head?
  • What are you reading these days?
  • What are some of your favorite restaurants?
  • Where was your last getaway?


Some people think this question is prying.  For me, it is just another way to communicate.  Indulge your friends and let them tell you about their dreams and aspirations. 

  • When did you know you wanted to be…..?
  • What is your silliest fear?
  • What did you want to be when you were a kid, and how did that turn out?

Hopefully, you will find value with these questions and using the F.O.R.D method. Perhaps you want more on this subject?  Here’s a quick and easy download of 30 easy open-ended questions you can use with just about anyone. 

Productive, engaging conversation is a skill, and you may need to practice. 

I appreciate you stopping by The Conversation Community, and I hope to talk with you soon.

Be Mindful, Inspire Conversation, and Continue to Encourage each other.

Much Love,


Five Tips for Peaceful Sleep

Five Tips for Peaceful Sleep

Five Tips for Peaceful Sleep

Do you hear those things that go bump in the night?  Well, occasionally, I do, and I feel miserable when my sleep is interrupted by invisible voices in my head.  If you relate to losing sleep because of those middle of the night harassing voices inside your head, you might want to read this article.  Best of all, I am going to share my five tips to help you get a more peaceful sleep.

Any way you look at it, INSOMNIA sucks. Lack of quality sleep can play havoc on us. With foggy mornings and midafternoon crashes, it is no wonder we are a little snappy, disinterested, and lack the energy to do anything more than what we must do to survive.

Get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, do laundry, read a story to the kids, and go to bed exhausted, only to find ourselves wide awake at 2 am listening.

Maybe you are one of the ones that have trouble falling asleep, or perhaps you are like me, suddenly awake the middle of the night and struggle falling back to sleep. Do you toss and turn, hearing those repetitive voices telling you stories of past failures or, worse yet, future failures? Do those voices seem to get louder the more you argue with them? Mine do.

What keeps you up at night?

Honestly, I admire people that can sleep for 10 hours, or stay in bed all day. It is just something that I can’t do. I have come to acknowledge and accept that I can live on a solid 6 hours of sleep daily and have been since my kids were born. Less than that amount of good quality sleep leaves me feeling restless and even angry. Can you relate?

Over the last few weeks, I have found myself in this repetitive nightmare of insomnia. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and lay wide awake at 2:30 am listening, silently arguing with the accusing voices, tossing and turning until I finally doze back off, only to get up at 630am to greet the day again. What a vicious cycle!

Thankfully, I have found some relief. Remember, I am not a doctor nor an advocate of sleeping pills, and I am only sharing out of my personal experience. Pain, anxiety, and depression are all genuine, and if you are experiencing these symptoms, I urge you to seek professional help.

Five tips that helped me sleep:

Here are my five tips for a peaceful sleep.  In addition, these techniques are natural ways to help with insomnia that have helped me.


Expressing gratitude is as simple as saying “Thank You”.  You can be thankful for a great day with your family or even for the peaceful sleep you are about to have.  As I prepare for my slumber, I quietly reflect for a few moments on a few of my favorite parts of the day and then whisper, “Thank You”.  Making this simple statement of gratitude signals your mind to relax and be at peace because of all of the good and beautiful events and blessings you have in your life. 

Intentional Dreaming.

Sometimes I find myself in need of answers. As I lay my head on the pillow, I ask the specific questions that I am contemplating. Unfortunately, that answer sometimes is the thing that wakes me up at 2:30 am. Dr. Joseph Murphy discusses this in great length in his book “Power of the Sub-Conscious Mind.


I have found some amazing guided meditations. A few years ago, I was experiencing awful physical pain. My back, knees, heart, neck, head, and hands hurt so badly; I could hardly function. The physical pain was a manifestation of some emotional situations going on in our home.  During that time, I relied on Barbara Clarke’s meditations that addressed the physical manifestation of emotional issues. I would fall asleep while listening to them. They did wonders for me!!!!


Sometimes, I imagine myself laying comfortably preparing for a massage. Starting at the crown my head, I begin to feel the tingling sensation of hands relaxing my temples, the crown of my head, my ears, nose, and mouth. I work my way down my body, paying attention to areas that hold tension and stress. I speak to my mind that I am becoming more and more relaxed as I move my focus further and further down my body. Most times, I drift off before I get to my hips. Drake Eastburn talks a lot about this in his book “Power of Suggestion.”

Let it play out.

What I hear and often entertain in those dark hours are the voices of accusation. That bully voice that reminds me of every mistake I have made throughout my 56 years. It says things such as “remember when you insulted that customer,” or “how about that time you got fired,” or “hey, remember that time you got so drunk..” and even ” you are spending too much money.” I would wrestle and argue over and over with those haunting thoughts, until just recently. A new theory was presented to me twice by different sources. How’s that for confirmation? (Unfortunately, I did not record who they were. I will backtrack my research, find their names and update this portion of the blog).

Basically, the study suggests that when the taunting voices pay a visit, let them have their say rather than arguing with them. Eventually, the scene will play out, and the imaginary conversation will end. The authors do not suggest that you should neither agree with them or banter with them. They say, just let them talk, just as we do with the blowhards in our social circles. The voices will talk themselves out until they finish their story.  Once they do, you will drift sweetly off to sleep again.

One night,  those pesky tormenting voices started a conversation in my head.  Immediately, I took this newfound suggestion and tried it for myself! Without judgment or the need to argue, I allowed them to talk and talk and talk. I no longer wanted to defend myself, nor did I apologize once again for something that happened 25 years ago. I know those situations are in the past, and there is nothing I can do to change them.  Furthermore, most of them are so stupid and irrelevant to my life now, anyway.

What was the result? The voices left my head and have not been back since! I am excited to say that I am back in my 6 hours of uninterrupted blissful sleep. There are no more accusers, no more drama, and no more arguing; just sweet, peaceful sleep.

Sweet Dreams and Peaceful Sleep

Sleepless nights are no fun for anyone.  For you that suffer from insomnia, I hope you find some relief.  When I tried these different exercises, my slumber improved dramatically.  Undoubtedly, we all deserve sweet, peaceful sleep, and I hope these five tips will help you.

The next time those voices wake you in the middle of the night, give one or all of these tips try and let me know how you made out.  We can talk in the morning!

For those that have found some other natural ways to enjoy a good night’s sleep, will you share them?

 In the comments below, drop us some “sweet sleep” if you found this helpful.