7 Ways to Make a Conversation

7 Ways to Make a Conversation With Anyone
Malavika Varadan
January 2016

3. Find the “Me too”‘s

4. Pay a unique compliment

10:20 Ask for an opinion.
All of us have opinions. And we all want them to be heard. And everybody wants validation.

7. Name, place, animal, thing


“Thanks for a great meal” is not good enough

Ungrateful Wretch
By Helena Echlin
July 31, 2007

“Thanks for a great meal” is not good enough either. You could say it to anybody who cooks for you. Debby Hoffman, motivational speaker and coauthor of the book Find Something Nice to Say: The Power of Compliments, calls this a “one-size-fits-all compliment.” Such comments are nice to hear, but they don’t make the receiver feel special. All the chefs I spoke to said they like to get a little more validation.
Here are some tips on how to best show your appreciation for a meal.

Firstly, be specific. As Hoffman says, the best compliments are “full of details, particular to that person and that event.” They show that you’ve really noticed what you’re eating and that your praise is sincere. “Recently I had a dinner party, and I made pasta with herbs from my garden,” says web designer Dukhan. “It was nice when my guests said things like, ‘You can really taste the fresh basil.’”

Even better: Turn your compliment about the dinner into a general statement about your host.
Mark Knapp, a professor of communication at the University of Texas, says, “Research shows that the compliments people like most and remember most are those that seem to have a bearing on their personality and attributes rather than on a specific feature. People like to hear, ‘That hat looks great on you,’ but they’d rather hear, ‘You have great taste.’” You can be specific and generalize about the host’s personality at the same time. For instance, you might say: “You come up with so many great uses for fresh herbs.”

Even after rhapsodizing about the food during dinner, you should thank your host a second time, a day or two later. The first time you compliment him or her, your host might be tipsy and not remember it afterward. Plus, many people are embarrassed by compliments and often can’t fully enjoy them in the moment. So it’s nice to offer your appreciation in a form they can savor, like email or snail mail.

Try not to start with the phrase thank you. If you shun this clichéd beginning, it shows you’ve gone to extra trouble with your note. “It forces you to be creative,”




Sting: Don’t believe in miracles, success is about perseverance

10 Questions for Sting
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011
Singer, activist and former Police man Sting is 60.

You say in your book and box set Sting: 25 Years that you don’t believe in miracles, that success is about perseverance. Was there never a song that just came as a gift?

Some do come already wrapped in ribbon–probably the most successful ones. “Every Breath You Take,” for example. Or “Roxanne.” Not that there’s anything particularly original about those songs. I don’t think there’s such a thing as composition in pop music. I think what we do in pop music is collate. It’s like folk music. It makes copyright a bit interesting and difficult. I’m a good collator.

in many ways, acknowledging that sense of mortality enriches the life you have left. My dad and I had the same hands. I hadn’t really noticed that until he was on his deathbed, and I mentioned it. And he said, “You used your hands better than I did.” My dad was a milkman. And I realized that was probably the first compliment he’d ever paid me

I understand the realpolitik of being President.

The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Express gratitude

The Emotional Life of Your Brain
Forbes. July 07, 2014

Our personalities, thought patterns and emotional responses are wired into our brains, says Richard Davidson, Ph.D., author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain, but you can change your brain. Here are several exercises that will help rewire the neural pathways to help you think more positively, become more self-aware, focus better, understand social cues, ease your emotional triggers and grow more resilient:

1. Make Your Home And Workspace Optimistic

2. Express Gratitude
Davidson says expressing gratitude regularly will help you feel more optimistic. Make the effort to look someone in the eyes and say “thank you,” and keep a journal to daily remind yourself of what’s good in your life.

3. Compliment others
By finding and making opportunities to compliment others, you’ll train your brain to see the good in people, in life and in yourself, says Davidson.

4. Pay Attention To Body Language
If you’d like to become more socially intuitive and good at dealing with people, Davidson suggests making an effort to watch people’s body language while in public and try to guess what emotions they are expressing. Then, start to take notice of friends and colleague’s facial cues and body language and how it corresponds to their tone of voice.

5. Identify Emotional Triggers
If you’d like to be less emotionally reactive and more tuned in to context, Davidson advises regularly making a list of the specific events or behaviors that triggered your response. Then spend about 15 minutes thinking about these behaviors while breathing deeply until you feel comfortable and more relaxed.

6. Do A Mindfulness Meditation
a new book on the topic:



Send thank-you notes to those who help you along the way
13 June 2019