Scott Adams on the rules of conversation.
A conversation, like dancing, has some rules, although I’ve never seen them stated anywhere. The objective of conversation is to entertain or inform the other person while not using up all of the talking time. A big part of how you entertain another person is by listening and giving your attention. Ideally, your own enjoyment from conversation comes from the other person doing his or her job of being interesting. If you are entertaining yourself at the other person’s expense, you’re doing it wrong.
These rules, he says, are surprisingly lost on many. And much like him, I was also very much in the cluless camp until I took a course at KTH. It wasn’t specifically on this subject, but a fair bit of time was devoted to active listening and connecting with people.
…I believed that conversation was a process by which I could demonstrate my cleverness, complain about what was bugging me, and argue with people in order to teach them how dumb they were. To me, listening was the same thing as being bored. I figured it was the other person’s responsibility to find some entertainment in the conversation.
Read the post here. It starts off with advanced alien life form in a dance club on Earth.