1 Posted by - April 1, 2014 - Parsha, Vayikra


Parashat Metzorah

people gossip, not because they want to cause harm to other people , but because they need a topic of conversation. Nothing is juicier than gossip. Listening to gossip has the same severity as engaging in it. People often listen because they do not know how to stop the “gossiper”. It may be considered rude to say, “That’s loshon horah”, so, out of an uncomfortable politeness, a person just sits and listens. After reading this article, you will be a pro at schmoozing, without needing to gossip. And you will know how to ward off a gossiper, before he has a chance to begin.

Leading an interesting conversation with others is a skill. Although the Hafetz Chaim was very careful about the purity of his speech, he was a great conversationalist. What did he have to talk about? Being a great conversationalist has almost nothing to do with what you say; it has much more to do with how you listen. Did you ever sit, one on one, with someone who rambled on and on about all different subjects … Did you enjoy that conversation? I’ll bet you did not. Everyone likes being asked to express his opinion. It gives satisfaction to feel that you have made clever comments in your conversation. That’s one reason to be in the listening mode when approaching a conversation. By putting the other person in the spotlight, you make him feel that you consider him an interesting person to have in your life . When you show interest in what the other person has to say, he walks away from the conversation saying to himself, “That guy is so interesting to talk to .” Even though you did not say anything; you just “mirrored” interests.

So, how do you get an interesting conversation up and running? There are five topics that powerhouse a conversation with another person: 1 – his life. 2 – his opinions. 3- worldly items that interest him. 4 – peoples that interest him. 5- your life and interests. You can mix and match. Don’t speak about what interests you if it does not interest him, unless he shows you interest. The order goes in accordance with the other person’s preferences, from top to bottom. To keep the conversation flowing, you can change the order or ask the other person a “why” question out of pure curiosity on one of his opinions. Why do you like living in Alaska. Once you ask a question, the other person starts talking, and you show them that you are listening. Concentrate on and relate to his areas of interest. Stay away from yes or no questions, or those with a one word answer. Open-ended questions draw a person’s interest like a magnet. They give the person an opportunity to express himself, to open up. Those are the questions that make the person think, that stimulate and vitalize the conversation.

When a person starts to speak about someone else, mentioning things that may cause that third party emotional, physical or monetary damage, you may not be sure how to stop him. In general, people do not like to be quieted. Usually, the person will start to justify himself with all kinds of explanations. You don’t want to sound “holier than thou”. Instead of mentioning the word gossip, just say that you always refrain from discussing a person who is not present. “I try to live by the ‘golden rule’, avoiding doing to someone else something that would be unpleasant for me. I don’t mind continuing this conversation, but let us first get the other person on the phone “.

Conversation is a great thing. It is the only way to build healthy, long lasting, two-way relationships. Probably the best tool you can develop is effective communication. Not knowing how to communicate effectively is sometimes a bigger problem than speaking gossip. This is a unique approach for refraining from speaking gossip. This article does not tell you to stop what you are doing, but to exchange it for something far more effective.

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