Good Conversations Have Lots of Doorknobs

Link to article. My thoughts below.

This is an article by a psychologist relating improv techniques to conversational patterns.

The piece is interesting because it explores some archetypes of people in conversation, how we might conceptualize what we’re doing in conversations, and how we might improve our conversational skills to bring out the best in each other.


Givers think that conversations unfold as a series of invitations; takers think conversations unfold as a series of declarations. When giver meets giver or taker meets taker, all is well. When giver meets taker, however, giver gives, taker takes, and giver gets resentful (“Why won’t he ask me a single question?”) while taker has a lovely time (“She must really think I’m interesting!”) or gets annoyed (“My job is so boring, why does she keep asking me about it?”).

For me, I never found social conventions intuitive and have to explicitly observe and define them for myself. I easily relate to where this article is coming from and find it fascinating that others are interested and that there’s research around it.

I think this space is really worth thinking about, and most people haven’t realized it’s something you can work on.

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