Sunday, January 7, 2018


      Someone recently called my attention to a 2014 article published on the Gentleman's Gazette site, which treats of conversation skills. It's a good read for anyone regardless of their abilities in this field.

        In the era we live in of vulgarity and 'trash talk' some have wondered if the 'art' (as the article terms it) of conversation hasn't fallen by the wayside. Some men may wonder whether it is important or not. Consider that the overwhelming reason women give for ending relationships is failure to communicate. Compare our divorce rates to those of our forefathers---who lived when good communication skills were taught in schools---and the answer should be obvious. 

         The fact of the matter is that good communication skills stand out. Women are by nature better at this than men, so a man who possesses these skills is more likely to succeed with the fair sex (as well as succeeding in other venues) than those who don't. 

        The article is fairly comprehensive, but it was noteworthy that the author mentioned two essentials: basic good manners and cheerfulness. Now this runs contrary to conventional wisdom which suggests that men should be loud, rude, and obnoxious to gain attention. Some of the dorks in the Manosphere even suggest 'negging'. That will get attention, alright. And a reputation you don't want as well. At the other extreme are the Male-Feminist types who fawn over women. This is bad too. Women like to be challenged and polite and calm debate with them goes a long way. 

           These two points are good in everyday conversations with other men or associates as well. People who are polite and cheerful are not only pleasant company, but they give a psychological air of openness and approachability. There is also a certain self-confidence that's apparent (the article gives some advice on cultivating that quality). But this isn't to be understood as some sort of social Realpolitik. The authors mention empathy---that is, a sincere interest in others. That's another masculine quality that so-called 'experts' on men deride or ignore. 

            Men tend to show empathy through actions moreso than through words or expressions, as women do. A good empathetic is actually listening---and the article talks about that too. The best thing about mastering good conversation skills is that it's not really all that difficult with a little practice; and the rewards reaped in self-confidence and greater social skills are substantial. 


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