To Attract Friends, Don't be a Bore


Should a conversation start with a list of every detail of your day? Would you want to listen to someone interested primarily in himself? Boring!

Think about boars. They

don't show interest in others don't care what you think don't ask you questions.

To attract friends, you need to ask good questions.

Warning: not all questions are good questions. Bad questions, asked only for the purpose of giving your own opinions or drawing attention to yourself (e.g. "What did you think of my performance?"), shut the door to better understanding. The listener feels used, not affirmed. Constant questioning also can make your friends uneasy. They wonder, Why the inquisition? Good questions keep your companion in mind. They don't intimidate. They don't make the person feel awkward or invaded. They don't stop the flow of communication-they start it!

Even if you recognize in yourself a habit of asking the wrong kind of questions, the kind that repel people, you can learn to ask good ones and draw people in. You can make effective adjustments in your conversational style by using the following techniques.

1. Reduce Implied Threat Emotions may be involved in your conversation. Even a simple question may suggest a subtle threat. Your friend wonders, Will you use the information you are asking for against me? Why do you need that information? Are you going to judge me by how I answer this question? Reduce threat by making your purpose clear. For example, you can say: Just for my information... I'm trying to decide what car to buy and I'd like your opinion. I'm interested in your thoughts on a decision I'm trying to make. Honey, our checkbook balance is very low. Do we need to buy that boat now? Stating your purpose clarifies your intentions and breaks down defenses.

2. Ask Simple Questions First With a new person, begin with nonthrea