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“Dry” conversations

Hi everyone!

Recently I’ve been working on my conversation skills with other people. I try to dig deeper, ask more open-ended questions and understand what others say. Usually I engage with non-believers so that I can share Jesus with them.

However, they seem to be disinterested (even though we’re not talking about spiritual things). They give short and “dry” replies no matter what I ask them. Any advice? How do you handle situations like these? And any tips on how I wouldn’t look like I’m bugging them, but really show that I care?

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Hi Anna!

I totally understand where you are coming from. And as someone who isn’t much of a small talker, myself, I see how it can be particularly frustrating.

A huge factor in opening up deeper conversations with people is trust. And that can take some time to develop. Being consistent is key. It’s hard to develop trust when communication is sporadic. Also, sometimes the tendency is to want to talk to everyone but realize your capacity as a human and maybe pick a few people to focus on. Think about a few people you really want to develop a relationship with and make a point to check in consistently. Be sure to ask about things they might have mentioned in a previous conversation and show a genuine interest.

The environment in which you communicate could also be conducive to a deeper conversation. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when time is short, the group is large, or attention is being pulled somewhere else. Not saying deeper conversations can’t happen in these environments but think about being intentional with some one on one time. Create some space for the conversations you want to have.

Pray, pray, pray. Pray specifically for the people you want to talk to. Pray for eyes to see them as Jesus does. Pray for both of your hearts to be open to what the Holy Spirit wants so speak in and through you. Pray that you would see the opportunities in front of you and go into them with courageous humble confidence. Pray as you are in the situation. Prayer is crucial.

You might also find this talk from Vince Vitale helpful

May the Lord continue to use you to draw people to Himself, Anna. May you rely on His strength and wisdom and be attentive to the Holy Spirit. May He prepare the hearts of those you interact with and reveal more of Himself in this whole process.

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Hey Anna! This is a very good question, and one that I am working through myself as well. Ditto to everything @RebekahD said! That was fabulous!

I also have found, being an introvert myself, that my personal demeanor and disposition of attitude and presence hugely influences the atmosphere I carry with me to either be conversationally invitational or deterring.

Also, being personally open about myself and offering sincere interest in their interests can open doors and build bridges that may come back around later. The goal here is to think long term for relationship cultivation. Relationships are gardens where seeds of thought are planted, watered, nurtured and tended to…gently and consistently by being available as a friend probably more than being vocal about your beliefs. Living what we believe will eventually evoke questions about why we do what we do, which will then lead into the reason for the hope that we have in Jesus. But often it is the life lived that influences deeper than the words that we say.

Here is another talk by Vince Vitale which was a huge help to me that may give you some more practical ideas in how to cultivate those relationships:

I hope these thoughts can be of help :heart:

~ Anna

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Thank you for your encouraging words and advice @AnnaLinzey and @RebekahD! I’m glad to hear from people who are like me — not really much of a talker. I will watch the talks of @Vince_Vitale that you guys shared! Thanks a lot!

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