The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Conversations – Poor, Ordinary, Good, Great

I’m talking about conversation between or amongst people. While driving back from an awesome mini-vacation on Key Largo (that’s Florida!) I got into an interesting conversation with the lovely woman who motivated that trip. She was talking about her friend, Becky. I make a point to listen to conversations between and amongst people. I also make a point to listen carefully to how others describe their friends’ conversational style. Verbal exchanges are a huge part of social skills.

Poor Conversation

In listening to the description of how Becky carries on a conversation, I was quickly reminded of the nature of a poor conversation. Becky only talks about her own experiences and her associated feelings. No one else matters in this type of conversation except the speaker. This unfortunate type of conversation is terribly unbalanced and selfish. There is no way to get a word in because the speaker simply doesn’t care about the other person’s words, feelings, or opinions.

Frankly, this is not conversation, it’s an extended soliloquy about the speaker’s experiences, feelings, and opinions. When the speaker is a woman, she’s selfish and uncaring. When the speaker is a man, he’s a damned blowhard . Men and women like this are solipsistic to a ridiculous degree. Such people are to be avoided. For my readers, note how you hold your conversations and what you are talking about. Is it completely solipsistic? Fix it through self-examination and introspection.

Ordinary (Polite) Conversation

We tend to talk about ourselves. This is human nature and it’s OK. The ordinary conversation is when two people take turns talking about themselves. There is usually some degree of empathy or sympathy to when the speaker is talking is talking about himself or herself. If there are subjects other than one’s self raised, the nature of the conversation sticks to polite, politically correct responses or statements. Ordinary conversation is about avoiding interpersonal conflict. This is a healthy cultural response in order to avoid potential conflicts. Just know that such types of conversation generally aren’t intellectually stimulating. A man can’t stand out from the crowd using just ordinary conversation.

Good Conversation

These are conversations that do not focus on the self, but on events outside of our individual experiences. Current news events or even celebrity gossip can fit in this conversational category. Such conversations are not as solipsistic as poor or ordinary conversations. Of course, there is discussion of one’s feelings or opinions about the topic at hand. A bunch of guys jaw-boning about sports is an example of good conversation. Women may find that topic uninteresting, but that’s OK. Men typically don’t find celebrity gossip particularly interesting. These types of conversations can be fun and have a degree of intellectual stimulation that goes way above poor and ordinary conversations.

Great Conversation

This is the category conversation that focuses on ideas. There is little in the way of selfish, solipsistic subject matter. One’s feelings or experiences matter far less than the logic and reason required to make an effective point, pro or con to the matter at hand. These type of conversations can be heated and political. But amongst intelligent people with emotional self-control, such a verbal exchange is intellectually healthy and vigorous. This category of conversation is also the most difficult to attain. It’s human nature to fall back a solipsistic conversational approach.

There is a bonus to having a great conversation. It’s an opportunity for a man to show some intellectual backbone as long as he’s not being a blowhard. The willingness to at least listen to an opposing intellectual concept is a serious mark of being intelligent. Equal with confidence, intelligence is an attraction point for women. That goes double for a guy who’s a great conversationalist

The take away for all my readers is this: Be keenly aware of what you are talking about when in a conversation. As well, be keenly aware of how the person (or people) respond to you. Are they reverting back to personal first person pronouns? That’s selfish but understandable. A guy has to make his own decisions regarding how a person responds and if he should continue the conversation.

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6 thoughts on “Conversations – Poor, Ordinary, Good, Great

  1. Great convos are about ideas? At a party? I don’t think so. Great convos occur when there is wit and engagement. Double entendres, figures of speech, back and forth, negs, teasing. Even 20 questions if not too much alcohol has been consumed.

  2. And then there’s the one where you start talking and when you next look around, it’s three hours later and it feels like you just started talking. I’ve had two conversations like that in my entire life (one as an undergraduate, and one when I was unemployed, and both when I had three hours free to spend talking) and both sent me away floating on air. Those were about discovering there was someone else out there who had similar thoughts. That’s the best: when you find out that you’re not the only person in the world who feels and thinks like that. Which come to think of it is what 12-Step movements are based on.

  3. Browneye on said:

    Some people are shallow, some are deep. We have twice as many ears as mouth’s so we should listen twice as much, right?
    An effective conversationalist will get the other engaged and drawn out. Amazing what people will spill about themselves. Good verbal skills is like a fine art form.

  4. “Wow, you’re lactose intolerant too? We have so much to talk about!”

  5. Hi,

    I’d like to suggest an article that can help people with key conversation sticking points. Here:


  6. I dunno. I love abstract concepts and discussing them impersonally, but It doesn’t do much to advance connecting with the opposite sex. My goals are about creating intimacy, and the sooner a man feels it, the better. (yeah , I’m a woman.) Conversations that would advance those goals would be along these lines …

    It’s effective, and since women are feelings oriented, I suspect that it would be even more effective.

    Great conversations warm up from small talk, to teasing banter, mixed in with intimacy questions, with abstract big concept conversation and then back to intimacy and teasing banter.

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