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Different types of conversation with people I've met Different types of conversation with people I've met
by Joseph Gatt
2021-01-09 11:59:23
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One of the most complicated aspects in my trade is having conversation with different people, because individuals tend to have their own conversation styles. Each individual has their own style.

But here are three broad categories of conversation styles that I've identified.

Trying to assert power: In this conversation style, the conversation partner is trying to assert power and domination over people they have conversations with.

So you're trying to report the facts, and he or she is trying to boss you around.

people01_400When people try to assert power, they tend to avoid chit chat or conversation. Anything they do or so tend to be geared toward asserting and providing that they are the one in charge and that they are the powerful one.

What are the different ways to show people that you have power, or that you think that you have power:

-Giving people orders, or a series of orders.

-Talking about one's self in grandiose ways, but belittling everyone else.

-Harsh comments towards individuals, either in the form of gossip or directly toward individuals.

-Overtly or covertly reminding people that they have power and authority.

-If anyone comes looking for conversation, you either start bossing them around, or start saying things that assert your power and domination over the person.

Trying to assert companionship: Those who try to assert companionship are a different breed.

These people constantly remind you that you two are related, but discuss little else.

So any conversation with these people is going to be about creating a form of dependence between you two, or the entire group.

So gradually, there will be the two people, and then there will be the “outsiders.” And the two people are almost going to discuss their personal relationship, and how to deal with outsiders.

How do you identify these individuals?

-They don't allow you to take individual liberties. What's yours is theirs.

-You're not allowed to discuss your individual quirks. If you're from Boston and he's from New York City, he won't allow you to discuss Boston.

-You're not allowed to discuss your individual possessions and goods. Because whatever's yours is supposed to be theirs.

-They want to get to know you at the deep, intimate level. So a lot of conflicts are going to involve yourself withholding information from that person.

Trying to assert individuality: Finally, there's that type of conversation where people try to assert their individuality.

These guys, like me, believe that what they own is theirs, and that talking about what they own does not imply that they want to share it with you. And when they discuss what they own, they are not implying that they are better than their conversation partner. This bit is important because, for example, when Americans in Asia discuss what they own, a lot of Asians believe that the American wants to share what they own with them. Or that the American is trying to assert his or her power.  

These guys and girls don't try to be in “power relationship” nor do they try to be in “co-dependent” relationships. They usually try to be independent individuals. So when they talk to you, they're usually not trying to create an exclusive friendship relationship with you.

How to indentify people who converse so they can assert their individuality:

-They refer to everyone by name, not title

-They take a lot of distance with their friends, and if their friends get too close, they usually take a few steps back.

-They hate being told what to do, and could tell you to “do it yourself” if you patronize them.

-When I say they hate being told what to do, that implies both giving them orders or giving them advice on how to live

-They believe in “shallow” relationships. No one is really their friend, but everyone can be their friend if the appropriate distances are taken.

-They are usually very straightforward, specifically because they believe that if they offend you, the relationship being non-co-dependent, they don't owe you anything, and you two can part ways.

When different conversation styles meet

So you have the guy trying to assert his power to a guy trying to assert his individuality. They can't stay friends for too long.

Important note: these conversation style are almost “genetic” according to my observations in that they tend to be deeply ingrained in individuals.

A lot of people try to be friends with people with completely different conversation styles, thinking that those will change. Problem is, if a guy tries to assert power, he won't change. If a girl tries to assert companionship, she won't change.

In most friendship cases this isn't a problem. But this can become a problem at the workplace or within couples. That is, if the boss is trying to assert his power to an individual trying to assert his individuality, they can't get much done together.

If a boy who loves asserting power dates a girl who loves asserting her individuality, there could be a few problems.

In the end, conversation styles make or break relationships. This has a lot of implications, especially when you appoint people for negotiations or when you hire people or when you date people.

So much more I could say about conversation styles, but I'll save those thoughts for another day.

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