Whenever I hear someone described as having the “gift of gab,” I always think of how lucky they are. After all, knowing how to hold interesting conversations isn’t easy, but for these folks, it seems to come naturally.
One thing I’ve noticed about them is that they use certain phrases that convey the most important quality they have – empathy.
In this article, I’ll share ten of these phrases. For me, these expressions are definite signs that a person is a great conversationalist who makes people feel understood and valued.
Let’s dive in!
1. “Tell me more about that.”
What separates great conversationalists from the rest is their genuine interest in others. And this phrase (and other open-ended questions/statements like it) shows exactly that.
Instead of dominating the conversation or merely waiting for their turn to speak, they show honest-to-goodness curiosity about what someone is saying.
This phrase works wonders in expressing that. When you ask people to elaborate, you’re telling them you’re all ears. This kind of attention is rare, and people will definitely appreciate it.
Because let’s face it, most people love talking about themselves!
2. “What’s your take on this?”
This is another phrase that shows you value other people’s opinions. I’ve found that this question can help steer a conversation to more meaningful and thought-provoking discussions.
Plus, asking someone for their opinion on a specific topic invites them to contribute to the conversation.
That way, you can keep everyone involved and interested, even those who normally sit by the edges and are too shy to speak up.
3. “That’s a great point.”
Once you’ve asked them to share their thoughts, follow it up with this phrase. Great conversationalists always take the time to acknowledge and appreciate someone’s perspective.
It shows respect and makes people feel heard. I, for one, love hearing this because it makes me feel like my thoughts are worth something.
And once I started using it myself, I loved seeing how it encouraged people to share even more ideas. I end up sparking fascinating discussions that I would’ve otherwise missed out on!
4. “I never thought about it that way before.”
Ah, this one is a real gem. I’m no Oprah Winfrey, but this statement has always helped me put people at ease.
You see, another trait great conversationalists have is humility. They know that they don’t know everything. And being able to admit that shows humility and openness.
It’s a breath of fresh air in conversations where people often try to appear more knowledgeable than they really are.
When I started using this phrase, I noticed that people were more eager to share their thoughts with me. It made me more approachable and relatable, so our conversations are more authentic.
5. “That reminds me of a story…”
As a formerly socially awkward person, I always used to wonder how great conversationalists could listen to someone and then keep the ball rolling as long as possible.
Until I noticed this little nugget they use to connect to what the other person’s saying.
“That reminds me of a story” does two things: 1) it smoothens out transitions in the conversation, and 2) it allows you to offer a little bit of yourself.
And when you share something personal, a magical thing happens – you create a deeper bond with the person you’re talking to. People like vulnerability, so they find it easier to lower their guard with those who are willing to be vulnerable.
6. “How did that make you feel?”
Speaking of breaking down walls, sometimes, it helps to ask someone about their emotions. I can see why therapists love saying this!
Let’s say a friend is talking to you about their relationship problems. When you ask this question, not only are you showing you care about them, but you’re also encouraging them to do some self-reflection.
I’ve discovered that this simple question can often reveal a lot about a person’s character, values, and experiences. And it helps me to better understand them!
7. “I can understand why you’d feel that way.”
This is another clear sign that someone can hold warm and comforting conversations. It’s just packed with empathy, isn’t it?
As I mentioned earlier, empathy is something that drives the best conversations. Saying you understand why they’d feel the way they do is a validation of their feelings and experiences.
That creates instant connection and trust. With just a few words, you show them that you can put yourself in their place and see where they’re coming from.
Try this in your next conversation and watch how quickly those walls go down!
You can even say the next phrase below to make them feel even more understood…
8. “You’re not alone in feeling that way.”
See, we all want to feel a sense of belonging and connection. Letting someone know that others share their feelings or experiences can be comforting and reassuring.
At a party I once went to, I met a woman who’d recently moved to the city. She talked about how she felt so disoriented and so scared to make new friends.
That was my cue to share my own story; I came from a small town myself, so I told her, “You’re not alone – I know exactly how you feel. This was me a couple of years ago!”
That instantly put her more at ease, and she came away feeling more hopeful about her current situation.
As I’ve said, I’m no Oprah, but that was an instance where I was just so happy to make someone else feel better!
9. “I appreciate your perspective.”
What if it’s a conversation that isn’t quite going your way? Or someone has said something you don’t agree with?
Handle it like great conversationalists do – say, “I appreciate your perspective.”
It’s a neutral statement that shows open-mindedness and respect for the other person. You may not agree with what they said, but you appreciate it just the same.
And if you do disagree, the next statement would be helpful…
10. “Let’s agree to disagree.”
This is how great conversationalists handle disagreements with grace and finesse.
Obviously, not every conversation will end with a consensus, and that’s perfectly okay. We just need to know how to exit the topic (or the conversation itself) without leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
I use this a lot nowadays, especially when it comes to really contentious topics like politics and religion. I might be feeling really annoyed inside, but I’d rather maintain a sense of peace and harmony than “win”.
After all, if there’s anything great conversationalists know, it’s better to be kind than to be right.
These phrases will definitely level up your conversation game. But I have to emphasize that there should always be a true spirit of interest behind them.
Because the truth is, people can tell when you’re not being genuine and authentic.
So, cultivate empathy and authenticity first, then use these phrases. For sure, you’ll be well on your way to creating memorable conversations!