Blake’s Advice Column
I am a big fan and read your column every weekend. I am writing because I have a very hard time making conversation. I read a booklet which suggests asking people questions about themselves to stimulate dialogue. Apparently, I am doing something wrong because family and friends accuse me of “interrogating” them. I’m not! I am truly just trying to chat. I have also failed several job interviews, so I must be missing something. What’s the correct way to have a conversation? How many questions are too many? How do I make amends to the people who aren’t speaking to me anymore? I honestly never meant to offend anyone. Thank you very much for your help.
From Grand Forks, North Dakota
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There are some tricks you can do to get a person to engage you in a conversation. And if my suggestions causes them to threaten you or curse you out, technically that’s still a conversation. Ok, here are some of my ideas. Shake their hands and then tell them you recently was diagnosed with a highly contagious deadly skin disease, that’s contracted with the slightest touch, and then walk away. They will immediately follow you talking nonstop… with terror in their eyes. Tell a woman she is very attractive, and ask what does she do to maintain her beauty. When she tries to “act” shy and tell you some of the things she does to always look so nice, tell her she talks too much and conceited women really turns you off. How many questions are too many? There is no set number. If they walk away, follow them. If they drive away, still follow them, and try to get in their front door before the lock it, so you can continue your info gathering. And lastly, how do you make amends to the people who aren’t speaking to me anymore? Go to them and humbly apologize and then tell them about your struggles. No doubt after that, they will give you advice on how to address the issue. But while they are speaking, interrupt them and say that the sound of their voice makes you want to vomit, and you’d rather not listen to them unless you are carrying a barf bag. I hope this helps.